Electrical Safety Doesn't Happen by Accident
Electrical systems and appliances degrade due to many factors – time, general use and physical damage. Electricity can be dangerous and sometimes even fatal if your electrical systems are not installed and maintained correctly.
With this in mind, it is worth mentioning that insurance companies assume that you are following the basic IET (The Institution of Engineering and Technology) guidelines regarding electrical safety; this generally means that you need to implement an on-going inspection programme to verify the condition of all of your company’s and/or domestic electrical systems. This should also include basic user checks by your staff as well as periodic checks by suitably competent persons, such as ACtest electricians. If you are not following the guidelines, you may find that in the event of an incident occurring, your insurance company assessor may request records to show that you were complying with the guidelines regarding electrical safety. If they deem that you were not, then they may only offer a small percentage of the payout or even refuse to pay at all, citing that you have been negligent in respect of your safety responsibilities (check the small print on your insurance documents). Even if you have been following the recommendations for electrical maintenance and safety, they may look closely to ensure that you have been adhering to the recommendations noted on your Electrical Installation Condition Report (formerly known as a Periodic Inspection Report).
If in the unlikely and horrific event that your certificates or reports have been destroyed by fire, you should contact your electrical services provider for copies. This is why it is prudent to only use reputable companies, such as ACtest, who backup customer reports and records, just in case the worst does happen.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous electrical contractors do exist and are only interested in taking your money with little or no regard for your safety. We often find potentially lethal faults. In the past, we were called out to help a family in Barnet, North London, to repair a cable which had been accidentally cut by a double-glazing fitter. Our engineer quickly made the installation safe and started the basic consumer unit safety checks before commencing works. He was horrified to find that the RCD (Residual Current Device), which is used to provide fire and electrical shock protection in the event of a fault, had been bypassed by a short length of 10mm cable rendering the installation unsafe! The client was shocked and, understandably, angry as they had only had a rewire done a few years ago and were not issued any paperwork; therefore, had no way of tracing the rogue trader!
When undertaking a new customer’s PAT Inspection or Electrical Installation Condition Report, it is also unfortunate that our engineers find that previous inspections performed by other providers are not always carried out correctly with several potentially hazardous faults being overlooked (there are tell-tale indicators that a good inspector will spot). Remember, electrical safety doesn’t happy by accident that electrical safety is no accident, it is an area that needs careful planning, installation and maintenance.
Contact us now on 0203 5815729 or email, so you can sleep well at night!