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Meet the team

meet the team

Mandatory safety checks essential

News 09 May 2019

Electrical Safety First has weighed in on mandatory electrical safety checks in the public rented sector.

Phil Buckle, chief executive at Electrical Safety First, commented: “The government’s decision to commit to introducing mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rented sector – after years of campaigning by Electrical Safety First – was a welcome step in improving the safety of private tenants in England. The recent, tragic death of Professor Alliston, who died of electrocution in the garden of his rented property, illustrates the importance of this essential safety requirement.

“Electrical Safety First is extremely concerned the government has not yet provided a time-scale to implement these checks, particularly since it announced its intention of doing so last year.

“It is essential the government provides clarity in relation to electrical inspections in the private rented sector, both in terms of timeline and how these inspections will be enforced.

“We also want to emphasise the importance of ensuring that the enforcement body is funded sufficiently to undertake its work effectively and the importance of using a competent, qualified and registered electrician to undertake such checks.”

For Advice on Electrical Safety,Electrical Testing or Electrical Compliance Please Call Electrical Test Midlands Ltd on 01922 710014 or email admin@electricaltestmidlands.com or visit our website www.electricaltestmidlands.com

Meet the team

Meet the team

fire killed two pensioners

A company which runs a care home where a fire killed two pensioners has been fined for fire safety offences.

Ivy Spriggs, 91, and Daphne Holloway, 88, died in a blaze at Newgrange Care Home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, on 8 April 2017.

Newgrange of Cheshunt Ltd runs the home and admitted five charges of failing to comply with fire safety legislation.

The company was fined £175,000 and will have to pay some prosecution costs.

 

Cheshunt care home fire

A company which runs a care home where a fire killed two pensioners has been fined for fire safety offences.

Ivy Spriggs, 91, and Daphne Holloway, 88, died in a blaze at Newgrange Care Home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, on 8 April 2017.

Newgrange of Cheshunt Ltd runs the home and admitted five charges of failing to comply with fire safety legislation.

The company was fined £175,000 and will have to pay some prosecution costs.

Some 33 residents were rescued, three of whom needed hospital treatment for burns and the effects of breathing in smoke.

 The cause of the fire was found to be from an electrical fault which spread to the roof.

Ivy Spriggs
                                 Ivy Spriggs, 91, died in the fire which ripped through the home in the early hours of 8 April 2017

Speaking after the sentencing at St Albans Crown Court, Hertfordshire’s chief fire officer Darryl Keen said: “This incident highlights the need for all business owners to ensure they fully comply with fire safety legislation.

“If enough competent staff had been present and properly trained to carry out long-established and recognised guidance on evacuations in a care home I am sure that a full evacuation would have been started long before our arrival.

 

Cheshunt care home fire

 

“Evacuation of a care home is a difficult task and needs to be properly considered and practised so that everyone can escape unharmed.”

The fire service has since undertaken further inspections of the county’s care homes, according to a spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, which runs the fire service.

The council said the amount of prosecution costs the company will have to pay is to be negotiated.

  • BBC NEWS .8 May 2019

        For more advice on electrical safety and electrical compliance please call Electrical Test Midlands Ltd on 01922 7100104 or email                                                                                                                        admin@electricaltestmidlands.com

 

Pat Testing

 

 

All pat testing portable electrical appliances should be tested to make sure they are safe to use along with evidence that you have carried out the necessary regular tests to meet your health and safety requirements.

ETM understand the regulations and requirements that you need to comply with to make sure your staff and buildings are protected against electrical accidents and meet your insurer’s requirements.

Our qualified team of engineers perform all the necessary tests with minimum disruption in your working environment and compile reports that are made readily available.

Supported by a proactive and responsive team, we work with our clients to quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively deliver an overall personal level of service by specialists in PAT testing.

ETM are accredited specialists in the following areas, providing cost effective compliance services

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) • Electrical Installation • Electrical Inspection • Fixed Wire Testing• Repairs and Remedial 
• Electrical Compliance • Energy Monitoring • Thermal Imaging • Emergency Lighting Testing • Fire Alarm Testing • Fire Extinguisher • Lightning Protection •Legionnaires Testing

ETM Electrical Test Midlands offers a range of testing and certification services to support customers in managing compliance around electrical safety for new and existing installations.
For further advice, call 01922 710014 or visit www.electricaltestmidlands.com 

What is a fixed wire testing?

Q1. What is a fixed wire testing?

A. Fixed wire testing is an inspection on the condition of an existing electrical installation, to identify (in order of priority) any deficiencies against the national safety standard for electrical installations.

Fixed wire testing will:

• reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment is overloaded
• find any potential electrical shock risks and fire hazards in your electrical installation
• identify any defective DIY electrical work
• highlight any lack of earthing or bonding
Tests are also carried out on wiring and associated fixed electrical equipment to check that it is safe.

 

Q2. Why is fixed wire testing needed?

A. Every electrical installation deteriorates with use and age. It is important for the person responsible for the maintenance of the installation to be sure that the safety of users is not put at risk, and that the installation continues to be in a safe and serviceable condition.

According to Government statistics, each year on average 10 people die and about 750 are seriously injured in accidents involving unsafe electrical installations in the home.

 

Q3. When is fixed wire testing needed?

A. It is recommended that fixed wire testing is carried out at least every:

• 10 years for a domestic installation
• 5 years for a commercial installation
• 3 years for caravans
• 1 year for swimming pools

Other instances when a fixed wire testing should be carried out are:

• when a property is being prepared to be let
• prior to selling a property or when buying a previously occupied property
• where there is reason to believe that damage has been cause to the building such as flooding or fire.

 

Q4. Who should undertake fixed wire testing?

A. Fixed wire testing are best left to an experienced electrician or electrical engineer who holds a City and Guilds 2391 – Inspection, Testing and Verification of electrical installations with relevant experience in the installation types being tested.

 

Q5. What happens during Fixed wire testing?

A. The NICEIC Approved Contractor will check the electrical installation against the requirements of BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations ( IEE Wiring Regulations) – as amended, which is the national safety standard for electrical installations, and contains around 850 Regulations.

The period inspection will take into account all relevant circumstances including the following factors:

• Adequacy of earthing and bonding
• Suitability of the switchgear and controlgear e.g. consumer unit e.g. an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast iron switches, a haphazard mixture of such equipment is likely to need replacing
• Serviceability of equipment e.g. switches, socket-outlets and light fittings e.g. older round pin sockets, round light switches and braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches, sockets mounted in skirting boards may require replacing.
• Type of wiring system and its condition e.g. cables coated in black- rubber, black-rubber was phased out in the 1960s or cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may need replacing (modern cables use pvc insulation)
• Provision of residual current devices for socket-outlets that may be used to plug in electrical equipment used outdoors
• Presence of adequate identification and notices
• Extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration
• Changes in use of the premises which have led to, or might lead to, deficiencies in the installation.

The Approved Contractor will provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) as part of the fixed wire testing.

 

Q6. Will testing cause a lot of disruption to the power?

A. A short power outage can be expected on each circuit within the system. But because most of the testing is carried out whilst the system is still live, these outages can be planned around your daily activities

 

Q7. What is a fixed wire testing report?

A. Fixed wire testing report is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a formal method of recording the findings of the periodic inspection, on at least seven pages.

The main purpose of a EICR is to report on the safety condition of an existing installation. Box E on page 1 should describe the overall condition as either ’satisfactory’, in which case no immediate remedial work is required, or ‘unsatisfactory’ which means remedial work is required to make the installation safe to use.

 

Q8. What happens after a fixed wire test?

A. If the Fixed wire test Report recommends improvements to the installation, Electrical Test Midlands will provide a fixed price quotation for the remedial work to be carried out if you require one.

 

Q9. Is electrical testing a requirement of my insurance company?

A. Increasingly, insurers are insisting that inspection and testing be carried out on a regular basis. If an avoidable accident or a fire occurs where electricity is suspected to have been the cause, then under law if found guilty you will be deemed to have committed a criminal offence. Insurers will not pay fines or compensation suffered resulting from a criminal offence.

 

Q10. My insurers have recently carried out a site survey and they didn’t ask me to have electrical testing carried out?

A. A visiting inspector will not necessarily identify the need to maintain electrical safety at every inspection he makes, especially if there are other issues to be addressed. Because testing has not been specifically demanded does not mean that the legal requirements to comply with electrical safety do not apply.

Q11. Why have I not needed to have testing carried out before?

A. There has always been a requirement to satisfy Health & Safety legislation. In 1989 The Electricity at Work Regulations came into force, which clarifies the need to maintain electrical systems safely. So there has always been the need and test data results will form a major part of your defense should an accident occur which leads to prosecution.

 

Q12. What does it cost to have my portable appliances and/or electrical installation tested?

A. Costs are based on a cost per circuit or appliance tested multiplied by the numbers involved. This, together with the existing condition of and accessibility to the system will determine the overall cost. Please contact us on 01543 546 547 to assess your portable appliance testing or electrical testing needs further.

 

Q13. I rent my business premises, is testing my landlords responsibility or mine?

A. You are responsible to make sure that you and your staff complies with Health & Safety legislation. However, it is usually dependent on the terms of your lease as to whether you or your landlord pays for testing to be carried out on the electrical installation. Usually, if you are on a full repairing lease then the cost will fall to you. Portable Appliance testing will always be at your expense.

 

Q14. I have been told that I only need to have a percentage of the system tested in order to comply.

A. As per the IEE Regulations, you can only rely on sample testing if you hold previous full system records, the installation is considered to be in excellent condition, no faults are found during sample testing and no undocumented alterations have been carried out since the
system was new or last tested. This does not hold true for the vast majority, for which full inspection and testing should be undertaken.

 

Q15. What will happen if I don’t have testing carried out?

A. Unless and until you suffer an accident then probably nothing will happen. However, remember that maintenance of a safe electrical system is a legal requirement. Therefore a preventable accident could lead to prosecution, for which there will be no insurance cover.
You may also find that an insurance loss adjuster could make much of the fact that you may not have maintained the system adequately which could have led to the claim. Again, this could lead to an unsuccessful claim and a costly experience.

 

Q16. I run a small business; do I need to have my portable appliances tested?

A. The Electricity at Work Regulations applies to all businesses from multi-nationals to sole traders. So you still need to comply.

 

Q17. I am afraid that my electrical installation is quite old; won’t testing open a can of worms in terms of remedial work costs?

A. Because we accurately identify any faults found, the cost of remedy in most cases is not too great. The majority of problems found involve earthing deficiencies, which although potentially very dangerous are not usually hugely expensive to remedy.

Q18. How will I know when my next inspection and test is due?

A. A periodic test notice will be applied to your mains board indicating the next due test date. We hold records of all clients, together with re-test dates on our database and remind clients when re-tests are due. Electrical Test Midlands will notify you automatically 3 months prier your testing due date. All your reports will be on our portal which you can access 247 via our website

 

For more advice on Electrical Compliance/Electrical Safety call Electrical Test Midlands Ltd on 01922 710014 or email on admin@electricaltestmidlands.com

Thermal imaging survey

Thermal imaging survey

Thermal imaging surveys are a non-disruptive way of inspecting electrical and mechanical installations under their normal working conditions.

 

Why undertake a thermal imaging survey?

Thermal imaging is a long established technology that has found many uses particularly with planned or preventative maintenance.

It’s great benefit is that thermal imaging is at its best when the surveyed item is operating under normal conditions which in turn negates the need to have disruptive isolation’s causing inconvenience to the workforce or building user.

When is it best used?

The best use of thermal imaging is to provide an interim non-disruptive inspection of the electrical and mechanical installation.

The Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) recommend routine inspections to the electrical installation between the formal periodic inspections. Thermal imaging is a great way to satisfy this requirement due to its non-disruptive nature.

What can be surveyed?

All aspects of the electrical installation can be surveyed and Electrical Test Midlands can provide you with expert guidance in making this decision.

Typical items that would be incorporated within a survey would be;

  • Electrical Distribution Boards and Main Panel Boards
  • Cable Runs & Terminations
  • Power Busbars, electrical risers and tap off units
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Panels
  • Motors and Pumps
  • Critical or essential power
  • External power supplies such as generators, Combined heating power (CHP) & UPS

Are there different service levels?

We typically undertake two service levels which offer a full report and analysis or a report by exception which just notifies you of equipment that is operating at higher than expected temperatures.

Which ever report you choose both reports include an inventory of items inspected and the respective measured temperature.

How do the reports get analysed?

All our operatives who undertake thermal imaging are electrically qualified inspection and test engineers, therefore most analysis is undertaken at the time of the survey and either acted on immediately or reported as necessary.

Additional analysis is undertaken by NICEIC accredited Qualifying Supervisors prior to you receiving your report further ensuring that the results obtained are reported accurately to you.

Are there any other benefits from a survey?

Typically when undertaking any inspection safety is quite often the main objective. However, many electrical installations require a higher integrity for the continuity of supply to maintain business critical services.

Though the installations may have undergone a thorough periodic inspection, frequently isolation of the critical parts will not be permitted to be inspected by the client due to the disruption it may cause. A thermal imaging survey of those parts of the installation maybe vital in identifying latent defects which in turn could lead to failure of the electrical supply.

We provide assistance in helping clients understand, where required, plan and manage the processes to undertake, manage and maintain compliance across their business.

ETM are accredited specialists in the following areas, providing cost effective compliance services

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)  Electrical Installation  Electrical Inspection  Fixed Wire Testing Repairs and Remedial 
 Electrical Compliance  Energy Monitoring  Thermal Imaging  Emergency Lighting Testing  Fire Alarm Testing  Fire Extinguisher  Lightning Protection Legionnaires Testing

ETM Electrical Test Midlands offers a range of testing and certification services to support customers in managing compliance around electrical safety for new and existing installations.
For further information, call 01922 710014 or visit www.electricaltestmidlands.com for more advice