Warrington Electricians Highlight Safety Concerns

This week PME electrical & data solutions, Electricians Warrington have highlighted to their commercial and domestic electrical services customers a special electrical safety initiative which highlights threats to consumer safety through the availability of counterfeit and unsafe electrical plugs and sockets in the UK.

Electrical Safety

The Plug Safe information portal is run and managed by a voluntary group of professional electrical service engineers that is working with other professional bodies to oppose the threats to safety posed by faulty electrical goods, illegal counterfeits and loopholes in electrical safety standards.

The group was formed in response to fears that consumer safety was being compromised by poor standards. Of particular concern is the number of online retailers who advertise counterfeit plugs which, although being fraudulently marked "BS 1363", are not electrical safety compliant to UK standards.

Among the dangers highlighted on the Plug Safe website are counterfeit fuses, electrical extension plugs with a partially sleeved earth pin, problems with colour coding of electrical wires, faulty mouldings and poor plug assemblies.

PME electrical & data soolutions Warrington are advising customers to have all their electrical equipment PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) tested as this will highlight any issues with counterfeit plugs. PME advise that a common indicator of a counterfeit plug is an earth pin which is partially insulated. The British Standard (BS 1363) requires that all electrical power pins (the shorter pins in a plug socket) are partially insulated. However, earth pins must be solid brass, or, in the case of electrical plugs intended solely for use with non-earthed devices, solid plastic. Having a sleeve on an earth pin is dangerous and a safety risk because it can prevent there being any contact to the earth of the electrical socket.  To ensure that the earth connection is made as soon as the electrical plug touches the socket many sockets place the contact right at the faceplate, this means that continuity is lost as soon as an electrical plug with a sleeved earth is fully inserted!

Examples of Counterfeit Plugs

 Plug Safe

Warrington PAT Testing

PME Electrical & Data solutions warn customers that electrical plugs with partially sleeved earth pins are ALWAYS counterfeit, and are not allowed to be sold, even for non-earthed applications. The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reported electrical accidents involved portable appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such electrical equipment.

To ensure the equipment in your workplace is compliant contact our Warrington PAT testing team today on 01925 394111.   



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