Recently we’ve had quite a few emergency call-outs, with a few that stand out so we thought we’d share them with you in the hope that we might help avert a potentially dangerous situation and prevent disaster happening!
The first was for a chap in Swaythling who called us after he could smell something electrical burning in his hallway / landing area for several days. The smell started to become stronger and when he managed to locate it to the cupboard under the stairs, he unfortunately ended up burning his fingertips on a junction box!
When we arrived at the scene, there was already an SSE engineer there watching it intently as he felt it was too dangerous to leave it unattended!
This cupboard was very full of things, all around the consumer unit and meter. Unfortunately, people can be unaware how dangerous this actually is. These units and meters should be kept clear of too much stuff in a cupboard as empty as possible to prevent a fire hazard.
Another call out was over in Hedge End where a customer thought their new top of the range washing machine had caused problems with power after being fitted that morning. After conducting a few tests, it became apparent that there was actually a serious amount of faults within the ring main circuit.
Unfortunately in this case, a builder friend had replaced their old sockets with nice new polished black ones, but hadn’t realised that they were wired with the old red and black colour coding that you find in older cables. This meant that all the sockets had been wired back to front (reverse polarity), some didn’t have the earth connected to the socket, and one even had both correct and reverse polarity.
We then discovered that the lights in the new study were actually connected to the ring main and lighting circuits at the same time!
It took 3 hours, but the ring main was sorted and power was restored. We’re going back soon to do a full test of the whole installation.
We’re sharing this because both of these situations could have had fatal consequences.
Safety Tip #1 – The Swaythling job could have caused a fire in a cupboard that was packed full of stuff – The consumer unit and meter were completely covered. This should never happen and must always be left with plenty of space around them.
Safety Tip #2 – The Hedge End job just highlights how important it is to make sure that a qualified person carries out electrical work. Even when you know someone, a friend, or a friend of a friend, make sure they are qualified to do the work, however simple the job may seem – It could be dangerous otherwise. Under certain circumstances, the safety features of the consumer unit may not have operated at all and a fatal shock received. It’s not worth the risk, and you’ll likely have to call someone else out anyway should problems arise.
Safety first, folks!
If you suspect any of the above faults then don’t delay and call someone right away. You can reach us on 023 8032 8104 or 07802 356 561 in an emergency.