PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 44
30th March 2015
This issue covers:
- Safety risks with e-cigarette charging are highlighted...
- ...and tumble dryer fault leads to fire warning
- Spring into action with special PAT training offer
- Electrical safety management seminar
- Beware false economies with PAT
- Support for Trading Standards work is welcomed
- Hannover 2015
Firefighters are urging people to take care when charging e-cigarettes following a recent product recall and an incident in Milton Keynes, UK.
It was reported that an unknown brand of e-cigarette exploded and caused fire damage to the floor of a house while being charged. It had been on charge for between 60 and 90 minutes.
The e-cigarette and USB charger had been bought from a market stall in central Milton Keynes earlier in the day. They came without a mains adaptor, so the USB was plugged into a mains adaptor from a different kit.
The incident is being investigated by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service and Milton Keynes Trading Standards.
In February, the charity Electrical Safety First announced a recall of the mains adaptor supplied with ClearSmoke e-cigarettes, with warnings of a risk of electric shock from the device due to inadequate construction.
A building fire in Colwyn Bay has prompted a warning from fire officers about the dangers of unsafe electrical appliances.
North Wales fire and rescue service attended a fire caused by an electrical fault in a tumble dryer in the garage of a property.
Gwyn Jones, community safety manager, said: “Once again this incident demonstrates the importance of using electrical items correctly, and operating them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
"Always check electrical items and leads for signs of damage or wear, do not use old or dangerous electrical items and never overload sockets, as this substantially increases the risk of a serious fire.
“We attend around 470 accidental fires in dwellings each year and electricity or electrical items are responsible for over 300 of these fires."
We have introduced a special offer on our comprehensive ‘How to PAT Test’ course, available via the dedicated Seaward online training portal.
For a limited period only, the course registration fee is being discounted by £20.00, allowing special user access to a complete practical guide to portable appliance testing for only £75.00.
The new Seaward Training Portal provides an immediate and convenient gateway to high calibre and informative video-based training programmes.
The ‘How to PAT Test’ session is designed to improve the knowledge of those involved in PAT testing – enabling appliance safety testing to be carried out competently and in line with established industry guidance, including the IET code of practice.
Online availability means that modules can be taken at a time and pace to suit individual users and the knowledge gained is demonstrated by an on-line assessment.
When successfully completed, course participants receive a certificate which can be downloaded and printed-out for record keeping purposes. To register for this special limited period offer, visit www.seawardtraining.co.uk.
The IET is hosting a special Electrical Safety Management seminar and workshop in London on 30th April, 2015.
The day long event will focus on the IET’s Code of Practice for Electrical Safety Management, with an emphasis on how to perform risk assessments and devise an electrical safety management plan relevant to particular workplaces.
In promoting the event the IET notes that, with electrical incidents accounting for a number of deaths in the workplace each year, the aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of electrical safety.
The event will highlight a systematic set of principles for assessing and managing electrical safety in any business and across all sectors of industry and the public sector. All delegates will receive the IET’s Code of Practice for Electrical Safety Management. Full details are provided here.
An interesting Seaward article in the trade press warns about the dangers of cutting corners when it comes to portable appliance testing and the risks of taking such an approach.
The article in the March issue of Electrical Wholesaler (page 23) encourages a common sense approach to ensuring the safety of electrical equipment, using test equipment that is suitable to carry out the required tasks and in keeping with the type of workplace where inspection and testing is being carried out.
In pursuit of maintaining cost efficiencies during what is still regarded as a somewhat fragile economic recovery for many employers, electrical safety testing procedures are often among the first activities to be reviewed for cost cutting purposes. However, before taking any action in this respect, the article warns that those responsible should fully understand their obligations and the risks associated with any short circuiting of proper health and safety procedures.
Also described are some examples of the sort of horror stories uncovered by periodic inspection and safety test programmes carried out in offices, schools, engineering workshops and other locations where highly dangerous situations were uncovered during periodic inspection and testing.
The Electrical Safety First (ESF) charity has announced its support for increased government funding for schemes aimed at removing dangerous and counterfeit goods from the marketplace.
Recently, Jo Swinson, UK Minister for Consumer Affairs, announced that an extra £400,000 is being made available to support Trading Standards in stopping dangerous goods being sold in the UK.
“In addition to funding criminal activity and hurting legitimate businesses, buying counterfeit can place our families and our homes in danger” explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First.
“Unlike fake DVDs or designer handbags, unsafe, substandard electrical products can kill or injure by causing an electric shock or by overheating, starting a fire. Around half of all domestic fires in Great Britain arise from an electrical source – with electrical products the prime culprit.
“Our research has found that sales of fake goods on social media have increased by almost 15% in the last year – with seizures of mobile phones rising by over 50%. So we are delighted that the Government has recognised the importance of product safety and we ask that they continue to work closely with local authorities to tackle the increase in counterfeit goods which threaten the safety of the UK consumer.” Full details at ESF.
Visit us at Hannover Messe next month
Seaward will be exhibiting at the Hannover Messe Trade Show on 13-17th April 2015 in Hannover, Germany.
For an opportunity to get hands on with the Seaward range of electrical safety and production line test equipment, visit the company display in Hall 12, Stand C20.
Full details over on the events page, www.seaward.co.uk/events
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