• Wattech Ltd

Children, Electric and You

Electrical Safety at home is something we don't really think about but there are many things already in place to protect you and your family thanks to the high standards of electrical safety set by UK laws.

There are a few things that you can do to help keep you and your children safe be it ensuring leads are run out of the reach of children to ensuring that items such as phones aren't being hidden under the pillows or bed covers.

These tips may sound like common sense but there are multiple domestic fires and accidents due to misuse or hidden dangers.

Here is our 5 top safety tips for parents.

1) Never leave items plugged in or switched on when not in use.

Children, especially toddlers finding their way, can be tempted to pick items up such as chargers etc and place them in their mouth. Children teething will put anything in their mouth to chew on to help their teeth to break through.

These items can also become hot so by following this tip you will also be removing a possible fire risk. Not only could tip 1 help protect your children but also help save money by reducing the amount of electricity being used.

2) Ensure an RCD is fitted to your electric fuse box (the consumer unit) or at the plug.

An RCD (Residual-Current Device) is the best form of protection from a fatal electric shock. Basically the way it works is that it continuously monitors the path of the electrical current through the live and the neutral lines, if it detects a loss of power via an unintended path, for example if your cutting the grass and cut through the cable of the mower or you come in to contact with a bare wire, or if an item overheats, the RCD will notice a difference in the flow and cut the power very quickly which will significantly reduce the risks of both death/serious injury but also fire from an overheating item. The easiest way to see if you have an RCD fitted is to your consumer unit is to check for a sticker that says something along the lines of test quarterly. Another way to check is to look if there is an item with a button that says "T" or "TEST" on it. It's is recommended that you test this system every 3 months to ensure that it works and is safe. If you are not sure give your local electrician a call and they will be happy to help.

3) Water and electric is a deadly combination.

When you bath your child ensure to you and your children are dried off thoroughly before plugging in that hair dryer or allowing your children to play on the games consoles etc. Keep drinks away from electrical items.

4) Check sockets and electrical items for damage or burning regularly.

Make sure plugs, leads and electrical items are free of damage and burning. Things like cracked plugs can be dangerous by exposing live electrical parts whilst evidence of scorching will identify overheating and fire risks. If you find any damaged or scorched items, remove them from use and get them replaced. If you find sockets that are damaged or scorched, please call your local electrician.

5) Socket guards. Sockets in the UK are built to standards set out in BS 1363. This means that sockets must have a shutter mechanism to stop items being inserted to the live and neutral pins with out the shutter being released by the earth socket. This removes the need for a traditional socket protector, which has been banned from all NHS sites and goes against recommendations of the BEAMA (British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association).

We have however sound that our children like all others find socket switches to be hours of fun. To combat this we have personally fitted tamper protectors which stops children from accessing the plugs and avoids items from being removed or switched off inadvertently. These can also help people with Alzheimer's and dementia.

If you would like more safety tips give us a call on 0800 031 4338.

You can also find more at our friends site: https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/

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