Articles related to electrical equipment safety notices mainly around portable appliance testing

Safe PAT testing for Home Workers

Home visits provide a unique opportunity to carry out Covid – safe PAT testing of electrical equipment provided by companies for their staff to use whilst working from home.

Safe PAT testing for Home Workers – home visits

If your staff are working from home due to Covid, as an employer you want the peace of mind that the equipment you supply staff with is as safe now as it was when it left the office.

For some, it has been over 6 months now (Oct 2020) since the equipment was taken home and it may have missed it’s regular PAT test.

Even if it’s regular check hasn’t been missed how do you know the appliances didn’t get damaged in transit or are being used appropriately at home?

We have the solution – safe PAT Testing outside your staff homes

We have been working through Covid and one of the most regular issues we’re finding is the amount of equipment that is being used by staff at home, and how little of it has been checked since it left the office, and what is the solution to check it is safe? This is… safe PAT testing outside the home.

We will visit the home of each member of staff, and safely, using Covid-safe measures, check their electrical appliances are safe without ever having to go into the property or making contact with the person.

Corona Virus Stay Safe Poster

This is how we do Safe PAT testing

Home Visits

  1. We arrive at the arranged time; the engineer wipes the handles of the box and the inside area (and any other area that might be touched), washes his hands and puts on a pair of clean gloves. He carries the box to the front door, rings the bell (or knocks) and backs away beyond 2 metres.
  2. The client opens the door, they are aware of what to do, but if not we can explain; they should put their appliances in the box, then close their door.
  3. The engineer takes the box to the car / van to conduct the necessary inspection, tests and maintenance. Applies labels as normal, wipes each appliance touched, and put the appliances back in the box. He then carries the box back to the door, rings the bell and steps back 2 metres.
  4. The client opens the door and takes their equipment out of the box. Some pleasantries may be exchanged and then the client closes the door.
  5. The engineer collects the box, returns to his vehicle, wipes the box, puts the wipes in the bin, removes his gloves and puts them in the bin, then washes his hands for more than 20 seconds using hand sanitiser.

Or in the staff car park

This process can just as easily work in your office car park if you don’t want us going to staff houses;

We arrange staggered arrival times, the person pulls up in their car, we put the box down, they fill it up and get back in the car; then we take it away, test it and return it. We would do this working as a team, so we can have a steady flow of vehicles and no hold ups.

How to arrange Safe PAT testing

Arranging safe PAT testing couldn’t be easier. There is a form below to complete, if you do that then we will contact you to discuss the process, prices and make the arrangements.

Safe PAT testing prices are dependent on what we have to do; whether we’re visiting houses or working from one location, how many engineers we have on the job, how many properties we have to visit, how many we can do in an allotted time, what the travel times are, etc.

You would need to provide us with staff addresses and advise staff that this is happening (we can provide email templates); then if you can give us mobile numbers or emails we can send each person a guidance message to what will happen and our estimated arrival time.

If you also have equipment still in your permanent workplace, that you want inspecting too, whilst the premises are empty, we can arrange to do that too.

Check if your Whirlpool washing machine is being recalled

Check if your Whirlpool washing machine is being recalled

You may have seen in the news recently that Whirlpool are recalling certain models of washing machines manufactured under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands between 2014 and 2018.

Whirlpool have identified that certain models pose a fire risk. We want you and your home to be safe, check if your washing machine is affected by visiting the Whirlpool website.

Whirlpool washing machine

To ensure you are notified every time an appliance gets recalled, register your appliances. 

2021-09-08T06:01:07+00:00Safety notices|

Don’t forget about electricity – it can be a silent killer

Electricity is present in every workplace and every electrical appliance used in workplaces, all over the United Kingdom (and the world). Electricity is invisible, taken for granted and usually overlooked as a workplace hazard – mainly because we have all become so used to it being there; but also because the appliances we use protect us so well.

When your electrical appliances are working correctly, they are protecting you and you have nothing to worry about, but when they go wrong the risks are high. Electricity is a major workplace hazard – it can electrocute, burn, start fires and even cause explosions – electricity is a silent killer!

Assessing the risks from electricity is straight-forward, if you know what you’re doing. We assess the risks every day, when testing your appliances, and when determining suitable periods until they should next be tested. The hazards are well known, and obvious, the assessor has to consider who could be affected, and what situations could put someone in contact with faulty electrical equipment. Don’t forget – the effects of defective appliances can be lethal.

In order to prevent danger to users and your business, from defective electrical equipment, you should enlist the help of competent people, who can assess your electrical issues, implement an inspection and testing system, and help you maintain appliances to protect your users from danger.

Get a PAT Testing Quote

2020-04-26T18:47:14+00:00Safety notices|

Registering and checking appliances is very important

Checking if an appliance has been recalled

Grenfell was a shocking incident (some info), and what it showed us was that electrical appliances do catch fire, they can cause major issues and they should be maintained better.

It’s led to all kinds of campaigns and awareness raising such as the need for registering appliances and checking appliances against recall notices – how many appliances are still in rented properties that the landlord doesn’t know have recall notices on them? Potentially hundreds or thousands, and one day they may catch fire, and that may be your fridge in the flat you own with the tenant who trusted you, asleep in the bedroom.

Don’t take chances with electrical safety, UK laws are changing inline with Scottish best practice – electrical systems now have to be tested every 5 years – appliances, which by very nature present a bigger risk should be tested more often and it’s only a matter of time before laws are brought into force them too.

Better you get in now, in fact why should a law make you act to protect your tenants? It should be what you do as a caring landlord, the fact you’re still reading this blog shows you are interested, so why leave potentially unsafe appliances unchecked any longer?

We inspect and test appliances that your provide, we’ll do repairs to the plug and cable, we’ll change the fuses, and we’ll check to see if there are any recall notices in place. We can’t register the appliance for you, only you can do that, but we can provide you with the info you need to register.

If you’re ready to give your tenants a higher degree of protection get in touch so we can arrange to test the appliances you provide as part of the rental agreement.

More info for landlords pat testing here

You can use the Register my Appliance facility to register your appliances, then you will be notified if the appliance is recalled by the manufacturer due to a safety issue. 

You can also check the latest recall notices to see if an appliance you have has been recalled, this is especially important if you have white goods that are not registered. 

Has my appliance been recalled?

Use the recall notices on Electrical Safety First to see if your appliance has been recalled. 

Get a Quote by email
Call us: 01916661009

2021-09-05T19:48:45+00:00Safety notices|

New guide to improve consumer product safety recalls

BSI Code of Practice for product recalls

(this is not our article; it has been taken direct from the UK Government website)

BSI Code of Practice will help businesses understand what to do if their product needs to be recalled.

2021-01-06T17:34:04+00:00Safety notices|

You have to see this before buying cheap counterfeit electrical products – it’s explosive!

The risk of buying counterfeit electrical products

Sometimes we buy something not because of the quality but for the price, but what happens if your bargain purchase turns out to be deadly? 

About a quarter of people in the UK have been victims of counterfeit products when shopping online, and around 5% of us have first hand experience of an electric shock or electrical fire caused by an electrical appliance purchased on line. 

Despite this, around 30% of us still admit to buying fake electrical goods to save money. 

Counterfeit goods are often substandard which present a serious risk of fire or electric shock. 

Orange fire burning on a black background to suggest electrical fire

This video from You Tube, linked from the BS1363 website (link not working so removed) is an excellent example to show what happens when a UK plug fitted with a counterfeit BS1363 fuse is subject to a short circuit.

Because the counterfeit fuse has no filling to suppress the arc it just explodes, as there’s nothing else it can do, blowing the plug from its socket.

This video was not produced by us and is being shown only as an example to help share the dangers of using counterfeit electrical products. 

We recommend only buying from a retailer that you trust, either direct from the manufacturer’s website or a trusted high street shop – the products they sell will meet the correct safety standards but if something does go wrong, you have a right to get them to address it, or you can return the product for repair or a refund. 

When you’re browsing online, it isn’t always obvious that you are not buying directly from the manufacturer. To make it easier for you Electrical Safety First have created a Chrome Extension

Get a Quote by email
Call us: 01916661009

2020-04-27T17:38:37+00:00Safety notices|

Register your appliances

Have you registered the appliances in your properties with the manufacturer?

When you buy appliances these days there is a warranty card in the box, if you complete and send it off you’ll be notified if there is ever a recall notice on the appliance.

Appliances, especially kitchen appliances get recalled all the time for all kinds of reasons, but sometimes its because they pose a serious risk, such as they can catch fire!

It’s shocking how many people aren’t aware of this until it is too late.

As part of our PAT testing service we cross check bigger kitchen appliances against the recall lists and notify you if anything pops up – we find this is especially useful for landlords.

If you don’t have your appliances registered, haven’t filled the cards in or simply aren’t sure go to the Register My Appliance website to do just that – you don’t need to be a business; anyone can register.

You’ll need model information for the appliances but it’s well worth getting that as sometimes appliances can catch fire which is the last thing you want to happen.

Look at this photograph – this was a dishwasher, in a flat owned by a landlord and rented out to a tenant. The landlord wasn’t aware of the recalls notice on the dishwasher, and luckily the tenant was in when the fire started, and was able to put it out – will you be so lucky?

If you use us for your appliance testing we’ll cross-check your appliances with the register, and notify you of product recalls.

Don’t assume every PAT tester does this; we’re only aware of one other company in the UK actively doing this at this time – we’re hoping to encourage more to follow.

2021-09-03T18:12:42+00:00Safety notices|

How do we check if appliances have been recalled?

Electrical appliances get recalled all the time, for all kinds of reasons, often simple maintenance issues where if you get in touch with the manufacturer they’ll send an engineer out to do the work, but sometimes it’s because a fault has been found that makes the appliance highly dangerous, like it could overheat and catch fire.

If there is a risk of your appliance catching fire surely you’d want to get that checked out pretty quick?

Make sure you complete the warranty card

I’m a big advocate for completing warranty cards when I buy new appliances and urge anyone to do the same.

If you fill in that card and send it to the manufacturer you go on a database; if the machine is recalled you get a letter telling you what to do next.

This dishwasher caught fire

 

This dishwasher, pictured, was never registered and the owner never checked the lists or even knew it was on the list. This dishwasher was in her flat, a flat she owned and rented out to a tenant.

One day, when it was on washing the dishes it overheated so quickly it set itself on fire and this is the result.

Don’t risk a fire

The effects of the fire could have been a lot worse had the tenant not been in the flat at the time, and had been so quick thinking – with the help of an oven glove she was able to bash out the flames and stop the fire spreading.

We got to see this dishwasher first hand; had we seen it before, we would have flagged it up to the landlord as being on a safety recall list, as that is something we do for landlords.

When we go into properties to maintain their appliances we cross reference them with the product recall lists and notify the landlords. We have had many instances of finding products on these lists.

If you want to get your appliances checked for safety including checking them against product recalls visit our landlord information page (for more info) or get in touch.

You can check your own products to see  if they have been recalled via our product recalls page.

2021-09-04T16:07:39+00:00Safety notices|

Incidents involving electrical equipment reported in the media – December 2016 – April 2017

The following information highlights the importance of maintaining safe electrical appliances; this information was gathered by Electrical Safety First.

Incidents involving electrical equipment reported in the media – December 2016 – April 2017

As far as we’ve been made aware these figures are not official, and that the real figure would be a lot higher, as not all incidents are reported.

232 reported incidents in this period

The number of reported incidents from the 1st of December 2016 until the 31st of March 2017 is 232; up from 193 recorded in the previous quarter.

Breakdown of the most commonly recorded causes of fire from Electrical Safety First:

  1. Tumble dryers – 101
  2. Electrical fault fires – 30
  3. Washing machines – 23
  4. Chargers – 19
  5. Dishwashers – 18
  6. Electric blankets – 11
  7. Refrigerators – 5

As in the previous period, white goods were responsible for a significant proportion of the incidents over this period – around 63% of all recorded incidents.

2021-01-06T17:32:37+00:00Safety notices|

Product recalls are being ignored

More than 4 million household appliances have been recalled by manufacturers in the past four years with faults that include a risk of fire or electric shock, and yet the majority may still be in UK homes.

The findings are reported in a study published by Electrical Safety First. Since the start of 2011, 228 different electrical products have been recalled– including seven types of fridge, four washing machines and seven hairdryers – yet typically only 10% to 20% of recalled products are ever returned or repaired.

Underestimating the risks posed by recalled products is a major factor in the low recall success rate. Many people surveyed by Electrical Safety First said they associated recalls with ‘annoying faults’ rather than safety, and 2.6 million UK adults say they have knowingly ignored a recall notice. The Charity wants to raise awareness of the risk of ignoring a recall notice after it found that 77% of people would be more likely to respond if they understood the potential dangers.

Electrical Safety First is also keen to stress that whilst there have been a number of high profile fires involving kitchen ‘white goods’ in the past year, smaller items can also pose a safety risk.

Its research found that a fifth of UK adults would be more likely to respond to a recall of a large product than a small product, yet the Charity found the electrical items most reported as faulty or dangerous are smaller ones such as chargers, hairdryers, toasters and kettles.

Full details at Electrical Safety First’s own website  – Originally produced by Seaward

We recommend that when you buy an electrical appliance, complete the warranty card that comes with it, and return it. You’ll then be notified directly if the product gets recalled.

2021-09-07T14:03:36+00:00Safety notices, Safety tips|
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