We carry out PAT testing in rented properties for landlords and lettings agents all over Tyne and Wear; this iron was found recently in a house occupied by students in Newcastle upon Tyne.
You can’t just put an appliance into a property and expect the tenant to look after and maintain in, you need to do regular checks otherwise you risk appliances like this being used.
The students in this hose had tried to repair their iron with ‘insulating tape’ but it didn’t stop the appliance being an accident waiting to happen.
Luckily we found it whilst doing our annual inspection.
Dangerous iron found in student property
This was in a student house, in use on the day I got there – can you see the live wire is showing? You’ll also see that someone has attempted to cover up the damage with insulating tape.
The iron’s cable has become tangled as they often do, putting pressure on the wires which have burst out of the material protection. At some point further damage has occurred and the insulation on the live wire has been damaged, resulting in the copper wires being exposed. This could cause an electric shock if they were touched.
What makes this situation even worse is when I opened the plug the earth wire was found to have become detached from the terminal screw of the earth pin
This is a potentially LETHAL hazard
Here the earth wire was touching the live wire, so the iron continued to work as live and neutral are still connected in the circuit, however what this means is all the metal work on the appliance that is safe because of the earth wire is now LIVE.
We don’t expect the user to touch the metal parts when they’re using the iron as it will be hot, but when it cools and they check to see if it is cool, if they’ve not switched it off at the wall they will get an electric shock; if their hands are wet or they have a weak heart this is potentially lethal.
The principle is the same with all other electrical appliances that rely on the earth for safety.
Don’t take a chance with faulty appliances – get them inspected and tested as often as possible