‘Too Hot to Handle’ campaign launches in Northern Ireland! Electrician Bournemouth?

As part of this year’s Electrical Fire Safety Fund, the ESC has provided £5,000 in funding to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in Northern Ireland, to support a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the dangers that hair straighteners can pose to children.

RoSPA and Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland (HAPNI) are working with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust on the campaign, following a rise in the number of children attending A&E at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children with hair straightener burns. It was officially launched at the hospital by RoSPA’s Chief Executive, Tom Mullarkey.

Hair straighteners can reach temperatures in excess of 200 degrees – hot enough to fry an egg – and can take as long as 40 minutes to cool down. As children’s skin can be 15 times thinner than adults, they can be badly burned very quickly.

The campaign offers a simple safety code: switch hair straighteners off and unplug them straight away, before sliding them into a heat resistant bag, and storing them out of the sight and reach of children.

Too Hot to Handle will run until March 2013, with various activities, including:

targeting health and social care students through workshops and encouraging them to pass on the safety messages to others;
organising local events to reach parents, other practitioners and young people through the Child Safety Check Scheme run by home safety officers; and
lobbying major manufacturers/retailers to supply heat resistant bags with the hair straighteners they sell.

Speaking about the campaign, Phil Buckle, the ESC’s Director General said:
“The ESC is delighted to support the Too Hot to Handle campaign. Our grants funding schemes mean that we can work with organizations like RoSPA Northern Ireland to raise awareness of electrical dangers in the home and to change people’s behaviour so that they act more responsibly around electricity.

“Electrical goods are now common items in people’s homes, so it is essential that they understand the risks associated with products like hair straighteners, particularly when they are using them around children. By taking the simple steps suggested in the campaign, people will be able to protect themselves and their families”.

Read the full press release and find out more on RoSPA’s website.

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ESC welcomes London Assembly Report on Private Rented Sector, Electrician Bournemouth?

The ESC welcomes the report from the London Assembly’s Housing and Regeneration Committee, ‘Making London’s private rented sector fit for purpose’

Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), said:

“Research from the Electrical Safety Council has found that a quarter of private renters in London have reported electrical concerns to their landlord that were either ignored or acted on too slowly. This is worrying as private renters are more likely than others to be injured in an electrical accident or experience a house fire caused by electricity. With the rapid growth of the Private Rented Sector in London, it has never been more urgent to ensure standards are improved.

“The Committee’s recommendation that all landlords in London register to operate is a positive step forward and we would like to see the maintenance of basic electrical safety standards as a condition of any registration. We also welcome the proposal for a new ‘Decent Homes Fund’, along with tax incentives, which would provide landlords with the capital and catalyst to make any needed improvements to the standard of the property, to ensure successful registration.”

The ESC provides free impartial advice to landlords and tenants on their responsibilities and rights, along with simple tips for ensuring electrical safety. Visit www.esc.org.uk/landlords

The ESC is a UK charity dedicated to reducing deaths and accidents caused by electricity. Electrical accidents cause 350,000 serious injuries each year in the UK and are responsible for half of all accidental house fires.

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safety concerns on electrical installations! Electrician in Bournemouth,

Research conducted by BEAMA has revealed the serious concerns among electrical contractors over the safety of domestic electrical installations. Feedback from hundreds of contractors has added to calls from the CLG Select Committee for regular electrical safety inspections in rented properties.

The survey findings highlighted a need for action:

Around 30% of Electrical Installation Condition Reports identify ‘Danger Present’ in rented properties
25% to 75% of homes have wiring installations more than 20 years out of date (pre-16th edition BS 7671)
Landlords are unlikely to instigate a rewire compared to homeowners, despite a growing private rented sector and with rented homes making up 50% of the total stock in some regions of the UK
Typical quotes from more than 200 written comments included:

“It’s startling how many people think that because their electrics are working, they believe them to be working safely”
“With the properties we inspect it is rare to find no problems”
“I see many cases of people purchasing properties who are unaware that the wiring is in a poor state”
BEAMA encourages Government, landlords and consumers to listen to these concerns. Contractors have overwhelmingly told BEAMA they encounter unsafe installations on a regular basis and support action to resolve this. BEAMA also supports the use of registered electricians and products compliant with all relevant standards, which is equally important in allowing tenants and homeowners to be confident that their electrics are safe.

With increasing calls to ensure homes have safe electrical installations, BEAMA hopes that, in time, the safety of domestic electrical installations will be tested as a matter of course, as is rightly the case with gas safety. BEAMA will engage with all relevant organisations to support the adoption of periodic inspection and testing to ensure the safety of consumers.

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How we live is changing. The Private Rented Sector (PRS) in Scotland has more than doubled in size over the last decade, with ever more families and vulnerable people renting privately. As a consequence, the PRS will continue to play an important role in meeting housing need. But all too often, private renters face poor conditions and serious safety hazards.

According to government statistics, over two thirds of all accidental fires in Scottish homes (more than 3,000 annually) are caused by electricity. Independent research also suggests that private tenants are more likely to be at risk of electric shock or fire than owner occupiers.i
Whilst we welcome the Scottish Government’s efforts to improve conditions in the sector and drive up standards, more must be done to reduce risks to private renters by putting precautionary measures in place to ensure their safety.

We the undersigned believe that housing standards in the PRS can be improved without placing a significant additional burden on landlords, and that improving electrical safety for tenants should be a core part of any new requirements.

Given that a new Housing Bill is due to be considered in Holyrood before the end of this year, we urge you to seriously consider any future regulation that would further improve the PRS, including:

Mandatory five-yearly safety checks by a competent person of electrical installations and any electrical appliances supplied with lettings
Mandatory provision of RCD protection in all propertiesii

Improving standards will not only benefit tenants but also help landlords keep their properties safe from the risk of fire. Making private renting a better option is crucial to ensuring everyone has a safe, affordable home to live in so we hope that you will seek to introduce these much-needed changes and will await your response with great interest.

Yours sincerely

Phil Buckle, Director General, Electrical Safety Council
Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland
Margaret Lynch, CEO, Citizens Advice Scotland
Alan Ferguson, Director, CIH Scotland
Jon Black, Secretary, Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group
Norman Kerr, Director, Energy Action Scotland
Robert Thomson, Director, Care and Repair Scotland
John Blackwood, Chief Executive, Scottish Association of Landlords
Sarah Speirs, Director, RICS Scotland
Gordon Maloney, President, NUS Scotland
Leslie Morphy, Chief Executive, Crisis
Newell McGuiness, Managing Director, SELECT
Paul Richardson, Chair, Home Safety Scotland

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The RLA will be in Bournemouth next week getting stuck in, as usual, where we are arguably at our best: talking to landlords and engaging with the housing sector’s ‘burning issues’.

The RLA will be sending staff out to the sixth annual ‘Bournemouth and Poole Landlord Conference ’ on 10th October 2013. The conference is set around the theme ‘Residential Letting in a Changing Environment’ and provides the perfect venue for landlords, letting agents and property managers to come together, discuss best practice, local goings on and meet similarly situated people.

There will be seminars throughout the day with a total of four venues designated for the speakers. Topics range from ‘tax matters’ to ‘together we can reduce crime’ and even ‘support for tenants: managing benefits and debts’.

Bournemouth Borough and Poole Councils, property insurance companies, local authorities, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), safety providers (gas, electrical, fire) and all manner of housing sector organisations will be attending and exhibiting at the conference venue, AFC Bournemouth’s ground: Goldsands Stadium.

The event starts at 10:00 am and runs until 5:00 pm on the day.

The RLA will be at stand 38 and hopes to see you there!

Bournemouth Borough Council website for the Conference

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JIB welcomes US apprentice

The JIB has welcomed US apprentice Juan Morales Jnr to the UK as part of the 2013 Tripartite Apprentice Exchange.

Juan, a fifth year apprentice based in Queens, New York, is spending six weeks working with contractors J Brand and T Clarke. During his stay he will learn how the electrical contracting works in this country and act as an ambassador for his own industry.

At the end of his trip he will prepare a report on areas such as working practices, industrial relations, skills competence and apprentice training, to share with colleagues in the United States and the parties in the United Kingdom.

The tripartite exchange programme is also seeing Thomas Hyland of Balfour Beatty Construction Services spend six weeks in Australia, along with an Australian apprentice spending time in New York.

At the start of his trip, Juan visited the JIB head office to sit a health and safety assessment in order to gain his Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) card. He also had the opportunity to meet Thomas before he departed for Australia; the two apprentices met representatives from the ECA, JTL and Unite the Union as well as visiting a local college to help with their understanding of the wider electrical contracting industry.

‘This is the third year we have run the exchange programme; the experience it provides for apprentices is immeasurable and the industry benefits greatly by learning more about each other’s working practices,’ said Steve Brawley, chief executive of the JIB. ‘We wish Juan the best of luck during his time here and thank J Brand and T Clarke for providing the valuable work experience placements.’

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Bloom’s CEO muses about big changes in electrical grid

Bloom Energy’s CEO is considering challenging a century-old standard in the electrical industry, in search of greater efficiency.

Bloom CEO KR Sridhar told reporters in Japan last week he would like the solid-oxide fuel cell servers in that country to be the first place the company produces direct-current power, as opposed to alternating current power, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Bloom opened its East Coast headquarters in Delaware earlier this year, helped by a surcharge being paid by Delmarva Power customers.

Bloom and its partner company in Japan, SoftBank, last week announced the installation of its first Bloom Box in Japan. During the press conference, he reportedly told reporters he would like his fuel cell servers to produce DC electricity to avoid the 10 percent power loss when it is converted from AC to DC.

“I would like to see Japan be the first place where we produce DC power,” Sridhar was quoted as saying by the Journal.

Many computers, personal electronic devices and flat-screen TVs, as well as some appliances, run on DC power, but they must be converted from the AC power created by generation plants and run on power lines.

The Bloom Boxes, designed to create small batches of power close to where it is used, already can produce either AC or DC power. But up until now, the boxes have conformed to the AC standard of the electrical grid.

The current electrical system is based upon AC power, after George Westinghouse won out over Thomas Edison more than a century ago to create the industry standard.

Dale Davis, president of CMI Solar Electric in Newark, said the biggest challenge to putting DC power onto the grid would be infrastructure issues. There would be the need to switch out large amounts of transmission equipment and home and business electronic wiring, Davis said.

“I don’t think we’ll become a DC society,” Davis said. “You’re Don Quixote on that one.”

Although it would help save on electricity losses, the upfront cost of conversion of existing equipment would be “cost-prohibitive,” said Collin O’Mara, Delaware natural resources secretary.

It would represent “a massive changeover of the system,” but he noted the electrical grid will effectively be rebuilt in the next 30-40 years.

“There are significant benefits” to DC “that weren’t fully understood 100 years ago when these decisions were made,” O’Mara said.

Such a change would be easier in new developments, including renewable energy projects like offshore wind, he said.

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