Electrical Safety

Useful telephone numbers

Local electricity network  – 105

Customer Services – 0300 123 5544

Electrical safety in your home

There are some basic visual checks you can do to improve electrical safety in the home – to see a list of these checks or check you are not overloading your sockets visit the Electrical Safety First website.

Remember that electricity can be dangerous. Do not try to fix loose wires yourself; always use a registered electrician.

If you experience a loss of Power in your home?

If you have a sudden power cut

  • Check to see if your neighbour seems to have power still, it could be an outage in just your home. If it is check your consumer unit (fuse box) to see if a switch has been tripped – see below.
  • If your neighbourhood seems to be without power too, you should phone 105 (which will put you in touch with your local electricity network operator)
  • Make sure you have a torch to hand (with spare batteries). If you decide to use candles to light your rooms, please make sure you use them responsibly (never burn a candle near anything that could catch fire, keep them out of reach of children/pets, always make sure candles are fully extinguished before leaving your home or going to bed).
  • Keep your fridge and freezer closed to help them stay cold.
  • Check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours.

How do I operate my consumer unit?

consumer unit - fuse boxA consumer unit is your properties fuse box. When a fuse is tripped in your home one of the Trip Switches will flip to the opposite position. Each switch should be labelled with the area of the property, so if an individual switch is tripped, this will be the only area of the house that will be affected.

The main switch – This will turn off all power to the property.

The MCB trip switches (Miniature Circuit Breaker) – This provides protection to the circuit, defined by the circuit label (a modern replacement for a fuse).

The RCD (Residual Current Device) – This provides further protection for the MCBs. It detects imbalances in the electrical current.

The RCBO trip switches – This is an MCB and RCD combined into one switch. It provides protection to the circuit.

What do I do if any of the switches trip?

If the switches trip they simply need pushing back into their original positions and the power will be restored. However, you may find a particular appliance, light bulb or other electrical component is not working, and if this happens it is likely that it was the cause of the trip.

What if the switch won’t go back up?

The fault needs to be identified in order for the switch to go back to its original position.

The next step depends on which switch has tripped:

The RCD switch
This is commonly the switch that trips. Switch off all appliances at the plug which are connected to the circuits protected by the RCD (there can be up to six circuits). When the RCD switch does stay up, switch on and turn on each appliance one by one. The RCD may trip again when the faulty appliance is turned on.

MCB or RCBO

If one of the MCB or RCBO switches trip, and the switch won’t reset, the process of elimination to follow is identical to that described above. This time, only one circuit is affected. If the switch won’t remain in the up position, if the fault cannot be identified or if tripping is a common occurrence, please contact us for assistance.

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