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Parents urged to switch on to electrical safety

Posted onPosted on 30th Mar

During Family Safety Week, NICEIC, the UK’s leading electrical safety authority, is reminding consumers of the importance of having adequate measures in place to ensure electrical safety in the home.

As the way we use our homes has continued to evolve in line with the digital landscape, the average UK home now uses more electrical appliances than ever before.

According to recent estimates, over half (57%) of the nation’s households now has a smart device to control lights, security, kettle, vacuum cleaner or other device. Equally, while traditional soft toys, games and books were once the mainstay of childhood, today’s kids now rather play with tech – and earlier than ever, with 90% of two-year-olds now using smart phones and tablets.

This brings greater safety implications that parents need to be aware of – an issue which NICEIC is keen to raise during Family Safety Week.

Running from 29th March to 4th April, the important annual week-long campaign from family safety charity RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has been designed to highlight the simple measures families can take to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe from serious accidental injury.

Darren Staniforth, NICEIC’s Group Senior Technical Presenter, said: “There is no escaping the impact that technology continues to have on the UK home: from the integration of smart media through to the introduction of ‘electric toys’, it would seem that it’s no longer just adults but children who are using more electrical appliances than ever.

“With this does, however, come increased safety concern. We must remember, after all the electrics are incredibly powerful and potential dangerous, and must be handled correctly, especially considering the increased use of electrical devices by children.

“In terms of best practice, it goes without saying that any electrical work in the home should be conducted by a qualified, certified professional, such as those listed with the NICEIC, in order to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. Also, under no circumstances, even if it appears to be a simple job, should parents attempt to carry out their own electrical DIY – doing so can lead to vast safety risks, leaving their families exposed to all sorts of hazards.

“In terms of the everyday, it’s about operating basic due diligence; for example, keeping electrical cords out of reach, keeping appliances off when not in use and never leaving a child unattended when using a device still connected to the mains. Also, obviously water and electrics don’t mix; so all drinks should be kept firmly out of reach of electrical appliances, and children should be dried thoroughly after bath-time before using anything electrical.”

According to NICEIC each year around 12,500 house fires, 750 serious injuries and 10 deaths are caused by unsafe electrics in the home.

Darren adds: “There are many benefits to the increased use of technology in the home; helping us to live more efficiently, comfortably and, in terms of children, often aiding in their education.

“However, it is incredibly important that we don’t forget that electricity is very dangerous and should be managed carefully and correctly as it becomes more and more widely used in the UK home. Failing to do so could not only compromise the safety and wellbeing of your family, but also be in breach of the Part P of the Building Regulations.”

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