As nights draw in and the temperature in the capital begins to fall gradually, it’s at this time of year you should start to think about getting your property ready for winter.
Although you should be careful with electrics and electrical equipment throughout the year, it’s at this period that we tend to use everything more. We turn on and turn up the central heating, as we can’t dry our clothes outside, we use tumble dryers; we use the cooker and oven more for cooking meals on those cold nights. You get the picture.
All of these activities tend to put more strain on the electrical circuits in our homes and also tests our electrical appliances to the limit. If something electrical breaks down or fails you can be sure it’ll be within the winter months.
It’s for these reasons that we should be more vigilant with everything electrical in our home or business.
A good place to start is by turning everything off at night. Although most of us do this without thinking, we regularly hear about accidents happening because of an electrical appliance being left on overnight and then overheating and causing a fire. This applies in particular with electric fires. Most household electric fires are rated at between 1kw and 2kw. Not only do these use a lot of electricity and are expensive to run but they tend to put a major load on your household electrics. Never leave an electric or gas fire unattended.
Another source of electrical problems is to leave tumble driers and washing machines on overnight and unattended. These electrical appliances also use large amounts of electricity to run and so put maximum loads on our circuits. It’s, therefore, wise to always keep an eye them when their running.
You should periodically check the condition of the electrical cables within your home for damage and wear, particularly if you’ve small children or pets around.
Choosing the correct fuse
Electrical cable faults are the biggest cause of accidents in the home. Regularly check the condition of your plugs when plugged in and also when unplugged. Always use the correct size of a fuse in your plugs. A common fuse found in plugs in the UK is either 3Amp or 13Amp. Always check your appliance rating before choosing a fuse, typically an appliance under 700watts should use 3Amp and anything higher 13Amp
Examples of electrical equipment that take 3Amp fuses are table lighting, small televisions and stereos, freezers and fridges, small power tools and computers.
13Amp fuses are found in larger appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers, electric cookers, microwaves, toasters, kettles and irons.
Finally, never overload your sockets by plugging in adapters or extensions to allow you to use more equipment. This should always be a short term fix and whenever possible be replaced by adding additional sockets to your home by a registered NICEIC electrician.
Boyter Electrical Services Ltd provides electrical testing for homes and business throughout Edinburgh & the Lothians. Call our office to have one of our fully qualified electricians arrange a visit and discuss your electrical needs.