How safe are the electrical circuits in you home?
22nd September 2013
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Energy saving and safety in the home.

We have so many electrical devices in our homes and offices, that it is easy to forget to turn things off.

Ian Duncan, from Data-Spark, one of our electricians with The Best of Aberdeen, says that it is good practise to switch off and remove plugs from sockets when not in use.

It is recommended that where a fuse board or socket is fitted with a RCD (Residual Current Device), you should test this on a regular basis.

An RCD is a life-saving device which is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires.

RCDs offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide.

How do you check whether you already have fixed RCD protection? Go to your consumer unit/ fuse box and have a look to see if there is a device with a pushbutton marked 'T' or 'Test'. This test button is part of an RCD. There should also be a label on or near the consumer unit stating 'test quarterly'.  If you have an RCD, you should check that it is functioning properly by pushing the test button every three months.

When tested, the RCD should switch off the power to the areas of the home or office it protects. The RCD in your consumer unit may not cover everything in your home, such as the lighting circuits, so it's a good idea to check - while the RCD is off - which sockets and lights are no longer working, showing that they are protected by that RCD. Then switch the RCD back on to restore the supply.

For energy saving, consider replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs. These operate at a fraction of the cost of existing bulbs and will last around 10 times longer. LED bulbs are more expensive to buy, but,the payback well exceeds old lamps. 

Any business should consider this as they may be in line for a government payback for reducing their energy use. They also save on maintenance and lamp change costs. Payback time can be as little as 18 months for an LED investment.

Whether you are checking your home or a business, it is good to have your electrics checked on a regular basis by a professional electrician. Bad electrics can be fatal and cause fire.

You can call Ian Duncan at Data-Spark on 01224 724932 or 07891 694109 Or look at his page on The Best of Aberdeen at

About the Author

Harry and Susan C

Member since: 10th July 2012

We own thebestofaberdeen and are always on the look out for interesting things that are happening in Aberdeen City and Shire, great local businesses and your views about anything local.

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