Saturday, 31 August 2013


  1. DIY errors cause half of all serious electric shocks in UK homes
  2. Brits botching simple tasks and relying on YouTube to undertake major DIY work
  3. Handy Andy joins the Electrical Safety Council’s call for ‘Dive in DIYers’ to think safety
  4. Find a local registered electrician by searching the Electrical Safety Register

A study by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) finds blundering DIYers across the UK are risking their lives and facing costly repairs through misplaced confidence in small jobs and even ‘having a go’ at tasks best left to the professionals.

The UK charity surveyed consumers and electricians and found that almost half of all severe electric shocks   are caused by DIY attempts, with people confessing to such errors as cutting through power leads, drilling into wiring in walls and repairing electrical items that are still switched on.

Electricians say they are spending an increasing amount of time repairing such blunders and are concerned that ‘Dive-in DIYers’ are endangering themselves and their families. This is a serious concern – someone dies as a result of an electrical accident in their home every week in the UK, and electricity is the cause of 350,000 serious injuries each year, as well as half of all house fires.

As well as tackling simple tasks with enthusiasm, worryingly many Dive-in DIYers are also taking on the big jobs – one in five  people with no electrical training say they are confident to try installing new lights in their homes and one in ten  say they’d happily install new wiring.

The overconfidence partly comes from relying on the advice of unqualified friends or family (half  of those surveyed said they do this) or seeking help online where the advice might not be appropriate – two fifths of people say they use Google to get tips  and the same number  use online video tutorials, such as on YouTube.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many blunderers are men who step up to the challenge through a mixture of compulsion and bravado - two fifths of men  say they feel a responsibility to do electrical and DIY jobs, and almost half of all men  are likely to try a job themselves or ask a mate, before seeking help from a professional.

More than half of UK homes, 13 million, don’t have Residual Current Device (RCD) protection in their fusebox. This important device can save lives by cutting power in the event of a fault or surge. The ESC advises anyone planning to do DIY to ensure they have RCD protection in the fusebox or use a plug-in RCD when working with power tools.

For those who are unsure about how to do electrical DIY, the ESC advises they get professional advice.

Want peace of mind?

Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday Fact

Listening to music literally makes the brain happier and hungrier for more music.

music is addictive

Thursday, 29 August 2013

IET to publish Code of Practice for the Application of LED Lighting Systems

A new Code of Practice for the Application of LED Lighting Systems will be published in January 2014 by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

LED lighting is a fast-developing technology that is becoming more popular as people begin to appreciate the advantages it provides, such as energy efficiency, equipment longevity and lower electricity bills.  However, it has also become apparent that poor quality installation of LED lighting systems could cancel out these advantages and result in inadequate lighting, failure to meet lifetime performance expectations or even interference [with other equipment] from poor systems integration.

Ben Papé, Chair of the IET Technical Committee on LED Lighting Systems, said: “LED lighting is becoming more commonplace and therefore better understanding is needed, alongside introduction of minimum standards for good installation practice.  A Code of Practice will benefit the industry and also build confidence in this technology for contractors and customers.”

The Code of Practice will focus on performance, safety and longevity of LED lighting installations. Topics covered will include lighting design, drivers, circuits, physical considerations, commissioning, inspection and maintenance. The aims of the document, specified by the IET Standards Technical Committee 2.3 on LED Lighting Systems, are to provide confidence to users as a minimum standard for LED lighting systems installation, and also to provide useful guidance on the application of LED lighting systems to installers, maintainers, operators and systems managers.

EU authorities ban dozens of LED products

Twenty LED lighting products have been banned or recalled in the European Union so far this year due to risks of electric shock or fire.

But differences between the amount of unsafe LED products found by the authorities in different countries suggest that the handful of items identified is only the tip of the iceberg.

Finland, for instance, which benefits from a relatively robust market surveillance regime, spotted more than a third of the dangerous LED products dealt with in the whole of Europe – even though the country is home to barely one per cent of the EU’s population.

The products affected included retrofit lamps, floodlights, torches and linear fittings. Most were made in China, although two were made in Germany. In the majority of cases the products were ordered to be recalled and withdrawn from sale.

One of the products found to pose a risk of electric shock was an LED night light in the shape of Christ on the cross, on sale in Slovakia.

The worst hit brand was China’s Jiage, which has had two of its LED torch products banned in Hungary because they could cause electric shocks, burns or fire.

Even some well-known brands such as Philips, Sylvania and LED Hut have voluntarily recalled LED products on sale in the UK and Spain in the last few months due to safety fears.

Need help?

Amendment No 2 to BS 7671:2008

The IET has now made available Amendment No 2 to BS 7671:2008. Issued on 1st August 2013, the free-to-view Amendment comprises a new section: 722 – Electric Vehicle Charging Installations.

This amendment is vital for all involved in the installation of EV charging points and includes requirements for PME systems, socket-outlets and connectors, isolation, switching and RCD protection.

short n sweet

have a great day

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Apparently you ‘won’t see a difference’ from halogen phase-out

Changes resulting from the new European regulation affecting halogen lamps will be ‘hard to see’ for non-experts, according to industry federation Lighting Europe.

As far as reflector lamps are concerned, the main change when the new EcoDesign regulation (known as DIM2) comes into effect on 1 September will be a ‘transition from less efficient towards more efficient types within the same technology’, rather than a sudden shift to a new type of lamp, said LightingEurope in its guide to the new regulations.

Even when the phase-out goes a step further in September 2014, getting rid of incandescent reflector lamps, the difference will ‘only be seen by experts’ because the quality of light from halogen versions is just as good, the organisation said.

LightingEurope said LED retrofits were in many cases a ‘good alternative’ to halogen reflector lamps, and pointed out that the regulation represents Europe’s first mandatory quality criteria for LED lamps and modules. ‘This seems to be a minor change for the consumer, but it is actually a major change,’ the organisation said, because it will help drive improvements in quality which are key to the wider adoption of LED lighting.

LightingEurope added that it is confident that mains voltage halogen lamps will only be phased out in 2016 if LEDs represent a genuine affordable alternative.

from -

Ionic liquid thermal electrical energy

Harvesting waste heat from power stations and even vehicle exhaust pipes could soon provide electricity.

A team of Monash University researchers working under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) has developed an ionic liquid-based thermocell. Thermocells are based on harnessing the thermal energy from the difference in temperature between two surfaces and converting that energy into electrical energy.

Led by Monash University researcher and Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Doug MacFarlane and Monash University PhD student Theodore Abraham, the collaborative project developed the thermocell device with the highest power outputs yet reported and no carbon emissions.

The new thermocell could be used to generate electricity from low grade steam in coal fired power stations at temperatures around 130°C. This would be implemented by having the steam pass over the outer surface of the hot electrode to keep it hot while the other electrode is air or water cooled.
Professor MacFarlane said the breakthrough included the development of a novel ionic liquid-based redox electrolyte.

clever... :)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

New energy infrastructure investment to fuel recovery

Government action to unlock up to £110 billion energy infrastructure investment and support up to 250,000 jobs by 2020• Capacity Market to be initiated in 2014 to bring on gas and other flexible electricity supply to meet future demand and reduce risks to security of supply from winter 2018• Renewable Strike Prices to help renewables contribute more than 30% of total power by 2020

The potential scale of investment, growth and job opportunities available in the energy economy was made clear today (June 27th) as Cabinet Ministers announced new details of reforms vital to keeping the lights on and emissions and bills down.

With around a fifth of Great Britain’s ageing power plants due to close over the coming decade, and further closures in the 2020s, we need huge investment in our energy infrastructure. The Energy Bill currently before Parliament introduces vital market reforms to bring this about.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey today announced more details about the reforms, ahead of schedule, to give developers and investors the confidence to progress with new projects.

Secretary of State Edward Davey said:
“No other sector is equal in scale to the British power market, in terms of the opportunity that it offers to investors, and the scale of the infrastructure challenge. “Our reforms will renew our electricity supply, attracting up to £110 billion investment in a mix of clean, secure power and demand reduction, and will support up to 250,000 jobs up and down the supply-chain.

ESC welcomes new report on private sector housing

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has welcomed the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee’s recommendation that private sector landlords be required to undertake a mandatory five-yearly check of electrical installations in their properties.

The recommendation is detailed in the recently released CLG Select Committee report into England’s private rented sector (PRS). It calls on government to introduce a requirement for a competent person to comprehensively review installations every five years, with a visual check being undertaken on change of tenancy. To achieve this, it asks government to liaise with the electrical industry to establish suitable certification.

“We are delighted that the Committee has made this recommendation,” commented Phil Buckle, director general of the ESC.

“We have, for some time now, been lobbying hard for such mandatory regulation in the PRS. The Government’s own data shows that 21% of England’s PRS contains category 1 hazards – the most dangerous risk to health and safety under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System.

“Independent research suggests that PRS tenants are more likely to be at risk of electric shock than owner-occupiers, or those in social housing. Government statistics also show that over half of all accidental fires in GB homes (more than 20,000 annually) are caused by electricity. With the PRS expanding significantly over the past decade – now comprising over 16.5% of all households and growing – it is essential that electrical safety in the sector is properly regulated.”

Monday, 26 August 2013

Logic Plus

We fit quality as standard.

Logic PlusTM wiring devices from MK Electric have been designed
to perfectly complement modern interiors, offering an unobtrusive
and sophisticated look totally in keeping with today’s design.
Technically, they exceed British Standard requirements with
patented features that make these products the most advanced
and safest available.

Logic PlusTM products are made from a high grade thermoset
material which has an inherent antimicrobial property. In
recent independent tests, the Logic PlusTM products were
equal to, or exceeded, competitor ‘Anti-Bac’ products when
tested for resistance to MRSA, E.Coli, Salmonella and Klebsiella

They are easy to install and available through our extensive
distributor network.

The range is backed by MK’s quality and reliability and provides
the largest selection of wiring devices in any single range.

Echo™ is an innovative range of entirely wireless, batteryless and
self powered switches, only available from MK Electric and in
finishes to complement the Logic PlusTM range.

Total safety
3-pin operated ‘child resistant shutter system’, which is designed to
inhibit access to the electricity supply, unless all 3 pins of a standard
British 13A plug are in position. Logic PlusTM products include an inherent
antimicrobial property as a result of the high grade thermoset material
used to manufacture.

Unrivalled quality and reliability
Products are made from the very best materials and production
processes. All products are 100% tested.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

All about money from MSE

Three things I’ll tell my daughter about money

1. One of the first things I’ll teach her is why there are sweets by the till in supermarkets. 
The reason is simple, a company’s job is to make money, so it puts the sweeties there to try and tempt us to buy one more thing, so it can make a little more cash.
It’s our job to try not to be tempted, and make the right decisions for ourselves. This doesn’t mean companies are wrong, just that they’re there to sell to us, not to look after us.

2. If you spend money once, you can’t spend it again.
In other words, a lesson in opportunity cost. I’m a great believer in letting kids earn pocket money, to teach a work ethic and the real value of cash.
By giving them their own cash, you can start to explain that there is a choice; either buy something small this week, or buy nothing, wait a few weeks for the cash to build up, and have the big toy you really want. Learning delayed gratification is crucial.

3. Sometimes there are no right answers.
This is for when she’s quite a lot older. Learning about uncertainty is a crucial lesson in finance, as in other elements of life. Whether fixing your mortgage will be cheapest, whether the cost of tuition fees be worth it, what’ll happen to house prices or the stock market – without a crystal ball you can’t know for certain.
Understanding that there are many shades of grey, and learning to weigh up upsides and downsides in any decision, without panicking, is a skill that keeps on giving (I only wish I had it).

Saturday, 24 August 2013

National Grid rolls out T-pylon

National Grid has launched the T-pylon in Somerset representing the next generation of electricity connection in the UK. 

The pylon was selected through an international an international competition organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Royal Institute of British Architects and National Grid.

It was designed by the Danish architects and engineers Bystrup and was selected from a field of 250 entries that was eventually whittled down to a shortlist of six.

The "radical arrangement of the electrical components" meant it could be lower than the equivalent steel lattice pylon and its simple design was judged to have less impact across landscapes, according to National Grid.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Friday Funny

Slough landlord fined £20,000 for putting tenants at risk

14 Aug 2013

A Slough landlord and a development firm has been fined a total of £20,250 for putting tenant safety at risk through fire safety breaches.

Gurpartap Singh Bhullar of Manor Lodge, Mildenhall Road and Bellforce Developments Ltd, of which Mr Bhullar was the director, were charged with the violation at Reading Crown Court on Thursday July 25th in regards to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

The multiple occupancy home at Mildenhall Road was inspected in October 2010 and was found to have numerous issues, including having no fire risk assessment in place, fire exists obstructed by combustile storage and fire exit gates locked shut.

There was also an inadequate fire alarm system, which had its smoke detectors removed, while its call points were inoperative.

Inspectors also found that there was insufficient emergency lighting, inadequate fire safety training for those on the site and no maintenance of the alarm and lighting systems.

Initially, there were a total of 38 charges at the Magistrates Court, but the defendants pleaded not guilty and it was referred to Reading Crown Court where they entered a guilty plea to six of the eight charges.

Judge Grainger ruled that the failures put the tenants at risk of death or injury and fined the company £13,500 and Mr Bhullar £6,750, with a further £21,732.62 having to be paid in costs to Royal Berkshire Fire Authority.

"This sends out a clear message that landlords who persistently ignore their legal obligations, to ensure their premises meet fire safety standards and thereby risk tenants’ safety, will not only be prosecuted but will receive significant financial penalties," said David Walden, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority's fire safety legal support manager.

"This was a complex case which resulted in further charges brought by Slough Borough Council. The legislation is very clear and there is no excuse for landlords who fail to maintain their rental properties in compliance with the law."

In a bid to remove potential fire hazards, commercial buildings and non-domestic premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
 While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

Got a HMO? need help?

from -

Thursday, 22 August 2013

What if everyone plugs in their cars at once?

Can you imagine it, a day in the future when fossil fuels are all but a memory and we all have plug in cars, do you think we might 'kill' the national grid?

Its a possibility, so we need a smart charger

Currently electric cars account for fewer than 0.05 percent of vehicles but one day that percentage will be higher

The proliferation of electric cars will bring benefits — like lower emissions — ­but could also create a few headaches for the grid.

The prospect that millions of Brits will get home from work and plug in their cars at the same time. it could actually put the lights out especially in London where the infrastructure is already at breaking point.

Smart chargers monitor the status of the grid and adjusts accordingly, switching off when demand is high and switching on when power is plentiful.

Adaptive charging could lower car owners’ electricity bills by allowing them to draw power when rates are lowest. And if enough cars use the systems, they could also collectively provide a valuable service to the power grid by dampening swings in electrical generation from the growing number of wind farms and solar arrays.

watch this space

Flat battery??? Power your mobile phone with URINE

Spending a penny to make a call home. that could be the future... one Wee could be enough to send an emergency text message or make a call, after scientists discovered a way of recharging a mobile phone with urine.

Researchers at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory harnessed an electrical charge by passing urine through a stack of microbial cells, which reacted to compounds including chloride, sodium and potassium.

The resultant charge was enough to make a brief call on a Samsung phone, send a text message or browse the web, the Royal Society of Chemistry journal reported.

The microbial fuel cells convert energy, which turns organic matter directly into electricity, via the metabolism of live micro-organisms.

The scientists now plan to develop the technology to be able to fully charge the handheld device.

Could the 'smart toilet' be the next green tech we all need to surf with the ipad sitting on the loo?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

It's Not Easy Being 'Green'

we are told that electric cars are going to help save the planet.

With rising petrol prices, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and pollution, we all know we have to change that there has to be a change

With major advancements in battery technology and energy efficiency, electric cars are poised to become a major aspect in our lives. However, the reality is that electric cars may not be as environmental friendly as many people believe, at least, right now.

the most 'green. options is to charge your car with solar PV

Two-thirds of electric car charging points used for less than a minute a day

Two-thirds of electric car charging points in Kingston were used for less than a minute a day last winter.

Only seven of the 21 charging points in the borough saw enough use to be included in recent statistics.

Most-used were plugs in St James’ Road, at Currie Motors by the Coombe Lane flyover, and at Asda in Kingston.

Drivers in St Mark’s Hill, Surbiton, plugged in for an average of 34 minutes a day between September 1 and December 31, last year.

Its even worse in Canterbury - Power sockets for charging electric cars has been used just four times it 12 months. Installed in Canterbury at a cost of £15,000 have been used just FOUR times in the past year, it's been revealed. £3,750 per charge :(

The power sockets were installed at the city’s three park and ride sites last August, costing Canterbury City Council £5,000 each.

This week, it emerged the authority has pulled the plug on one in Wincheap after it was vandalised early August

When the points were installed, the authority admitted it did not know how many green car owners there were locally, nor how many vehicles were likely to use them.

Bailey’s Nissan, thought to be the only electric car dealer in the city, has sold just two Nissan Leaf models in the past year, to people from Manchester.

The authority has since faced fierce criticism from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which branded it a “green vanity project”.

2013 Apprentice is Christopher Tipping

Woolgar Electrical endeavour to take on at least one apprentice every year.

Our apprenticeship programme has been a huge success in getting people into the company that work to the qualities you like.

It’s hard at first for both the apprentice and the team at Woolgar electrical, but we know apprentices increase productivity, improve competitiveness and secure a committed and competent team.
You expect the best, and this is why we train apprentices

This comes from a need to bring on new talent and to balance the team of highly skilled and experienced engineers with fresh potential by investing time and resources in young people and by encouraging them to learn from our senior engineers.

That way they can ensure that future engineers develop the skills demanded from the work that they do for you.

Apprentices play a key role in the organisation’s success and we are happy to offer a young person the first steps in a career that can keep them busy for a lifetime.

It’s important to recognise the value of on-the-job training as the apprentices gain valuable experience as well as developing the practical skills needed for the business.

So we have added a member to our team

Welcome Chris. We are glad you accepted the challenge.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Nine billion litres of water a day

Homes in Great Britain use nine billion litres of water every day, the largest and most comprehensive study of water use ever has revealed.

At Home with Water, a report commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust Foundation in partnership with DEFRA, Procter and Gamble, Thames Water, Consumer Council for Water and SaveWaterSaveMoney, presents the findings from a study of 86,000 British households – and sheds new light on how Brits use water.

Showers are the biggest consumers of water in the home, using a quarter of the total – three per cent more than lavatories (22 per cent).

At Home with Water found an average shower lasts 7.5 minutes – and cutting a MINUTE off that time would save Hertfordshire households £3.6 million on energy bills each year.
Each day Britain “showers away” over two billion litres of water. At Home with Water pulls back the curtain on the showering habits of Brits, finding:

On average, Britons shower 4.4 times a week, and take 1.3 baths.
An average shower lasts 7.5 minutes – with one in eight taking more than ten minutes.

Monday, 19 August 2013

History of Electricity

From the writings of Thales of Miletus it appears that Westerners knew as long ago as 600 B.C. that amber becomes charged by rubbing.

then 2200 years later The English scientist William Gilbert in 1600 described the electrification of many substances and coined the term electricity from the Greek word for amber. As a result, Gilbert is called the father of modern electricity.

In 1660 Otto von Guericke invented a crude machine for producing static electricity. It was a ball of sulfur, rotated by a crank with one hand and rubbed with the other. Successors, such as Francis Hauksbee, made improvements that provided experimenters with a ready source of static electricity.

Today's highly developed descendant of these early machines is the Van de Graaf generator, which is sometimes used as a particle accelerator. Robert Boyle realized that attraction and repulsion were mutual and that electric force was transmitted through a vacuum (c.1675). Stephen Gray distinguished between conductors and nonconductors (1729). C. F. Du Fay recognized two kinds of electricity, which Benjamin Franklin and Ebenezer Kinnersley of Philadelphia later named positive and negative.
The Quantitative Era

Progress quickened after the Leyden jar was invented in 1745 by Pieter van Musschenbroek. The Leyden jar stored static electricity, which could be discharged all at once. In 1747 William Watson discharged a Leyden jar through a circuit, and comprehension of the current and circuit started a new field of experimentation. Henry Cavendish, by measuring the conductivity of materials (he compared the simultaneous shocks he received by discharging Leyden jars through the materials), and Charles A. Coulomb, by expressing mathematically the attraction of electrified bodies, began the quantitative study of electricity.

A new interest in current began with the invention of the battery. Luigi Galvani had noticed (1786) that a discharge of static electricity made a frog's leg jerk. Consequent experimentation produced what was a simple electron cell using the fluids of the leg as an electrolyte and the muscle as a circuit and indicator. Galvani thought the leg supplied electricity, but Alessandro Volta thought otherwise, and he built the voltaic pile, an early type of battery, as proof. Continuous current from batteries smoothed the way for the discovery of G. S. Ohm's law (pub. 1827), relating current, voltage (electromotive force), and resistance (see Ohm's law), and of J. P. Joule's law of electrical heating (pub. 1841). Ohm's law and the rules discovered later by G. R. Kirchhoff regarding the sum of the currents and the sum of the voltages in a circuit (see Kirchhoff's laws) are the basic means of making circuit calculations.

In 1819 Hans Christian Oersted discovered that a magnetic field surrounds a current-carrying wire. Within two years André Marie Ampère had put several electromagnetic laws into mathematical form, D. F. Arago had invented the electromagnet, and Michael Faraday had devised a crude form of electric motor. Practical application of a motor had to wait 10 years, however, until Faraday (and earlier, independently, Joseph Henry) invented the electric generator with which to power the motor. A year after Faraday's laboratory approximation of the generator, Hippolyte Pixii constructed a hand-driven model. From then on engineers took over from the scientists, and a slow development followed; the first power stations were built 50 years later (see power, electric).

In 1873 James Clerk Maxwell had started a different path of development with equations that described the electromagnetic field, and he predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves traveling with the speed of light. Heinrich R. Hertz confirmed this prediction experimentally, and Marconi first made use of these waves in developing radio (1895). John Ambrose Fleming invented (1904) the diode rectifier vacuum tube as a detector for the Marconi radio. Three years later Lee De Forest made the diode into an amplifier by adding a third electrode, and electronics had begun. Theoretical understanding became more complete in 1897 with the discovery of the electron by J. J. Thomson. In 1910–11 Ernest R. Rutherford and his assistants learned the distribution of charge within the atom. Robert Millikan measured the charge on a single electron by 1913.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Electricity makes clouds dance

A video of an unusual cloud formation, footage which some are regarding as an Internet hoax, has been proved authentic. The shows a cloud appearing to “dance” in the sky, is now being classified as a cumulonimbus, a cloud associated with thunder storms.

Although rare, the phenomenon isn't completely unheard of, scientists say. An article in Discover magazine said the rapid movement was caused by electrical currents inside the cloud.

Meteorologist Walter Lyons, who is credited with identifying the phenomenon, said long and needled ice crystals aligning with electric forces created the light-bending, weather show.

“What you are seeing is sunlight reflecting off ice crystal faces that are constantly being oriented by the developing electric field just above the [cumulonimbus] top,” Lyons said. “Then there is a discharge in the cloud, and the field collapses momentarily, and the crystals begin to realign again.”
The electric force cloud footage is just one of many atmospheric anomalies to hit the web in recent weeks.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Householder Jargonbuster

Do you speak sparky?

Whether your whole house is being rewired or you’re just having some new sockets fitted, it helps to know the difference between a consumer unit and a circuit breaker. To help you understand what your electrician is talking about, we’ve put together a jargonbuster to explain below some of the more common terms used.

BS - British Standard
 British Standard BS 7671 – also known as the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineering) wiring regulations. Details the requirements for electrical installations and is the standard against which all NICEIC contractors are assessed. To enrol with NICEIC all electricians, and anyone they employ, must meet this national safety standard.

 Any electrician installing a new electrical installation (including a single circuit), altering, extending or adapting an existing circuit should issue the homeowner with electrical installation certificate or minor electrical installation works certificate to confirm the work complies with the requirements of BS 7671.

 An assembly of electrical equipment (socket outlets, lighting points and switches) supplied from the same origin and protected against over current by the same protective device(s).
Circuit-breaker or RCD

 A device capable of making, carrying and breaking normal load currents and also making and automatically breaking, under pre-determined conditions, abnormal currents such as short-circuit currents. It is usually required to operate infrequently although some types are suitable for frequent operation.

Class I equipment
 Equipment in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but which includes means for the connection of exposed-conductive-parts to a protective conductor in the fixed wiring of the installation. Class I equipment has exposed metallic parts, e.g. the metallic enclosure of washing machine.

Class II equipment
 Class II equipment, such as music systems, television and video players, in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but in which additional safety precautions such as supplementary insulation are provided, there being no provision for the connection of exposed metalwork of the equipment to a protective conductor, and no reliance upon precautions to be taken in the fixed wiring of the installation.

Class III equipment
 Equipment, for example for medical use, in which protection against electric shock relies on supply at SELV (Safety extra low voltage) and in which voltages higher than those of SELV are not generated. Class III equipment must be supplied from a safety isolating transformer.

Consumer unit
 Also known as a fusebox, consumer control unit or electricity control unit. A particular type of distribution board comprising a co-ordinated assembly for the control and distribution of electrical energy, principally in domestic premises, incorporating manual means of double-pole isolation on the incoming circuit(s) and an assembly of one or more fuses, circuit-breakers, residual current operated devices or signalling and other devices purposely manufactured for such use.

Distribution board
 An assembly containing switching or protective devices (e.g. fuses, circuit-breakers, residual current operated devices) associated with one or more outgoing circuits fed from one or more incoming circuits, together with terminals for the neutral and protective circuit conductors. It may also include signalling and other control devices. Means of isolation may be included in the board or may be provided separately.

Electrical Installation Condition Report - formerly called PIR. A report to establish the overall condition of all the electrics in a building, stating whether it is satisfactory for continued use, detailing any work that might need to be done.

Electrical installation
 Any assembly of electrical equipment supplied by a common source to fulfil a specific purpose.
Electrical Safety Regulations

Extension leads
 An extension cable, also known as a power extender, extension cord or an extension lead, is a length of flexible electrical power cable or flex with a plug on one end and one or more sockets on the other end - usually of the same type as the plug. However use of extension leads should be avoided where possible, as there is a chance of overloading the circuit.

Low Voltage

 Milliamp or 1/1000 part of an amp

 Electrical current (in amps) that exceeds the maximum limit of a circuit. May result in risk of fire or shock from insulation damaged from heat generated by overcurrent condition.

Part P
 The specific section of the Building Regulations for England and Wales that relates to electrical installations in domestic properties. Part P provides safety regulations to protect householders, and requires most domestic electrical work to be carried out by government-registered electricians, or to be inspected by Building Control officers.

PAT - Portable Appliance Testing
 Inspection and testing of electrical equipment including portable appliances, moveable equipment, hand held appliances, stationary equipment, fixed equipment/appliances, IT equipment and extension leads.

PIR - Periodic Inspection Report
 An electrical survey, known as a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) will reveal if electrical circuits are overloaded, find potential hazards in the installation, identify defective DIY work, highlight any lack of earthing or bonding and carry out tests on the fixed wiring of the installation. The cost of a typical
PIR should start around £100, depending on the size of your property. The report will establish the overall condition of all the electrics and state whether it is satisfactory for continued use, and should detail any work that might need to be done.

PLI - Public Liability Insurance
 Broad term for insurance which covers liability exposures for individuals and business owners. Homeowners should check that their electrician has public liability insurance, which covers them if someone is accidentally injured by them or their business operation. It will also cover them if they damage your property while on business. The cover should include any legal fees and expenses which result from any claim by you. Homeowners looking to employ trades people to undertake work on their homes should ensure the companies selected have suitable cover – minimum recommendation is £2 million.

Portable equipment
 Electrical equipment which is less than 18 kg in mass and is intended to be moved while in operation or which can easily be moved from one place to another, such as a toaster, food mixer, vacuum cleaner, fan heater.

Prospective fault current
 The value of overcurrent at a given point in a circuit resulting from a fault between live conductors.

RCD - Residual current device
 Residual current device is a safety device that switches off the electricity automatically when it detects an earth fault, providing protection against electric shock.

Ring final circuit/ring main/ ring
 A final circuit connected in the form of a ring and connected to a single point of supply.

 Separated Extra-Low Voltage. An extra-low voltage system, which is electrically separated from Earth and from other systems in such a way that a single fault cannot give rise to the risk of electric shock.

Voltage, extra-low
 Normally not exceeding 50 V a.c. or 120 V ripple-free d.c., whether between conductors or to earth.

What we do!

Electricians in central beds. Offering both residential and commercial services we can look after all of your electrical requirements from rewiring a fuse to installing a solar PV system.

We also installation and repairs of switches and sockets and fire and safety equipment testing.

We provide a quality rewiring service

We offer a 24-hour emergency service and our reliable and experienced electricians will respond on the same day.

Please browse our website to find out more and see how we can help you.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Got a fake charger? is it safe

Mobile phone users are being warned about the serious risks of buying fake chargers as safety experts fear a growing number are ending up in homes.

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) says the counterfeit chargers are now one of the main fake electrical products entering the country and have given some people electric shocks or even started fires.

There is possibly going to be an increase in the problem due to them agreeing to sell mobile phones without the chargers in the box and that's to comply with European mandate to reduce electrical waste

This is why we're working with the mobile phone operators and doing as much as we can to raise awareness of the situation to ensure that people aren't lured into purchasing substandard and counterfeited products.

Katie Vines, from Bristol, paid less then a fiver for a phone charger online.

It was plugged in close to her baby's cot when it exploded. The seller sent her a replacement but the second charger was also faulty and blew up.

According to the ESC, more than four million counterfeit goods were seized in the UK last year - with mobile phone chargers now one of the top electrical fakes.

stay safe - its not worth buying a fake. we have seen the results. when they go bang it its spectacular, very dangerous and generally leave quote a carbon scar on the socket

Is it worth it? we don't think so?

Friday Fact

Rock-paper-scissors dates all the way back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The New Electric Bike That Listens to Your Heart

A new electric bicycle with heart monitoring and automatic gear technology helps riders maintain a healthy level of outdoor exercise, whatever their ability or terrain.

Electric bikes have already become an alternative to cars and public transport for tens of thousands of Brits. The latest model from specialist importer 50cycles may encourage many more to take to the saddle.

It's called the Kalkhoff Impulse Ergo (funky name) and it's to date the only electric bike to combine a wireless heart monitor, electrical assistance and automatic gears in one package. Together they help the rider maintain a constant heart rate and enjoy steady, sustained exercise that's known to encourage long-term health and wellbeing.

Policemen drive Renault Twizy electric cars in the street on the Trocadero square in Paris.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Love this cake

The Hyper Tube, really really fast and not as smelly as the Northern Line

We love new things and new possibilities

did you read about Elon Musk's (SpaceX, Tesla and Paypal) 'I had a dream' moment'?

- A supersonic "Hyperloop" transport concept to link Los Angeles and San Francisco.

How cool is that? - a few electromagnets (massive over simplification, I know!) and hey presto, a capsule floating on a cushion of air travelling faster than 700mph through a tube all at a bargain price of $6bn ( about £3.9bn). that's the price of the project, not a ticket :)

powered by solar green energy with some sort of back up - cant see us only travelling when the sun is up.

it sounds like a brilliant niche product. anyone fancy doing Bedford - London in 5 minutes or Edinburgh to London in 34 minutes?

the future is bright, the future is 700 mph capsules, but maybe not just yet.

Greet this new day with open arms and endless possibility

Have a great day :)

Q & A of the Day – What is the fault withstand rating for a typical consumer unit?

Question: What is the fault withstand rating for a typical consumer unit rated in kA?
I ask because such information provided only seems to relate to switchboards - for example, 35kA for 1 sec.

Answer: Typically this would be 16kA as a conditional rating when backed-up by a domestic cut-out fuse.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Your Satis Bog could be hacked

luxury toilet controlled by a smartphone app is vulnerable to attack, according to security experts.
Retailing for up to $5,686 (£3,821), the Satis toilet includes automatic flushing, bidet spray, music and fragrance release.

The toilet, manufactured by Japanese firm Lixil, is controlled via an Android app called My Satis.

But a hardware flaw means any phone with the app could activate any of the toilets, researchers say.

The toilet uses bluetooth to receive instructions via the app, but the Pin code for every model is hardwired to be four zeros (0000), meaning that it cannot be reset and can be activated by any phone with the My Satis app, a report by Trustwave's Spiderlabs information security experts reveals.

"An attacker could simply download the My Satis application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner," it says in its report.

Home buyer activity picking up

We were very happy to read that the housing market is on the up.

The Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (Rics) said that buyers were now returning to the market in their biggest numbers for four years.

The largest rise in activity came in the West Midlands and the North East but we expect things to pick up in Central Beds and some of our strategic partners are saying things are better here too.

the holiday season is always one of our quieter moments. London and the areas around it continued to see the biggest price increases and they generally ripple out to us. its nice to see a revival

the green shoots of recovery are here. this is the first time that everywhere has experienced some improvement so we are confident.

if you are going on the housing market remember quotes are free and check out our Home MOT to check that your new home is safe for your family

Government help for the housing market is probably one reason for the pick-up in activity.

it looks like The Help to Buy scheme, which began in April 2013, might just be working.

(buyers to put down a 5% deposit, and take out a government loan for up to 20% of the value of the property.)

From January next year, it will be extended to help buyers of existing homes, and the government will guarantee a proportion of the loan to give the banks greater confidence to lend.

Last week's announcement by the Bank that interest rates are likely to remain at their record low for several years to come, is also likely to improve the number of cheaper mortgages on offer.

Smile, we believe it going to get better

Monday, 12 August 2013

PC sales down

Global personal computer (PC) sales have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row, making it the "longest duration of decline" in history.

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 76 million units in the second quarter, a 10.9% drop from a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner.

PC sales have been hurt in recent years by the growing popularity of tablets.
Gartner said the introduction of low-cost tablets had further hurt PC sales, especially in emerging economies.

"In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner,

Xerox copiers rewrite documents

Photocopiers made by Xerox are changing numbers on documents, a German computer scientist has discovered
David Kriesel found that copies he made of construction plans had altered room dimensions.

Other users have replicated the problem, which has been blamed on faults with compression software used by several Xerox models.

The company has not yet issued a fix for the problem, but it told the BBC it was preparing a statement.

Mr Kriesel said he worried that numbers could be altered on invoices and other important documents.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Greenhouse gas could be an untapped source of energy

Dutch scientists have come up with a new technique to unlock the power of waste carbon dioxide pumped out of current power plants

The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology believes its method could produce a staggering 1,570 kilowatts of electricity annually

The technology is not ready yet but it is hoped it could be used instead of expanding current power plants to meet increasing demand for electricity

A new method for producing electricity from waste carbon dioxide emitted by power stations could be so efficient that it has the potential to create 400 times the amount of power that the Hoover Dam generates in a year, Dutch scientists have claimed.

Their system involves mixing water and other liquids with combustion gas comprising a high concentration of carbon dioxide that are pumped between two membranes to produce an electric current.

Compulsively using hand sanitizer is BAD!

If you reach for hand sanitizer any time you make contact with the outside world, you might want to take pause. Unless you're in an especially germ-prone place like a hospital, soap and water will work just fine, says Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Dermatology at the University of California-San Diego.

When you're not near a sink, hand sanitizing gels can help, but be sure to read the label first. Recent research has shown that those containing triclosan may promote bacteria and virus resistance to antibiotic medications (this goes for antibacterial hand soaps that contain triclosan, too). Instead, choose brands like contain at least 60% alcohol, which will kill 99% of bacteria on contact.

Home Safety

We are not going to try and scare you spouting statistic, we all know electricity can be Dangerous and if not done right can hurt your family

Woolgar Electrical offers simple advice to help you to keep yourself, your loved ones and your homes safe from electrical accidents and fires.

We have a range of services that generally starts with a test

You MOT your car because you have to. You MOT your home because you need to
A MOT Test will
• Details if there is anything in your home that is dangerous
• Look for warning signs of things you need to keep an eye on.
• check you are not overloading sockets or doing other things that add to risk
• Let you know if you are using electricity safely outside.
• Tell you how up to date your electrics are so you can plan for the future
click the Link to MOT your Home
We only operate an emergency service over the weekend so we will call you back on Monday if you fill this out at the weekend
Our emergency number is 07746 243 248 (out of office hours and weekends)

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Sir Christopher Cockerell used a vacuum cleaner and tin cans to test his theories as he developed the hovercraft, which first crossed between Calais and Dover in 1959. Cockerell was knighted but fought for years to get a lump sum from the National Research Development Corporation.


When Nick Holonyak Jr invented the first practically useful LED in 1962 he predicted it would one day replace Edison's lightbulb. Holonyak's colleagues have said he should be given the Nobel Prize but he humbly says: "It's ridiculous to think that somebody owes you something. We're lucky to be alive, when it comes down to it."

say thank you to Nick

saving the planet one LED @ a time

Electrical Hazards

Electrical hazards are invisible but deadly, causing fires and electrical shocks. These hazards are easily preventable if you use an NICEIC-registered contractor to install, inspect and maintain your electrics.

Government figures show that electricity causes more than 20,000 fires a year – almost half of all accidental house fires. (Source: DCLG)
Each year 70 people are killed and 350,000 seriously injured due to an electrical accident in the home. (Source: ESC)

There are also about 12,500 electrical fires in homes across the UK each year. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather than the electrical installation itself, a properly installed and well-maintained electrical system could save lives.

Cables, switches, socket-outlets and other equipment deteriorate with prolonged use, so they all need to be checked and necessary replacements or repairs made in good time.

Whilst it is relatively easy to make an electrical circuit work – it is far more tricky to make the circuit work safely.  To avoid the dangers that electricity can create it is essential that electrical work is carried out only by those with the correct knowledge, skill and experience in the type of electrical work to be undertaken.

The Electrical Safety Council published the results of their National Consumer Survey and found that:
•42% of those surveyed stated they had never had their electrics checked
•32% of DIYers stated they had experienced one or more electric shocks while carrying out DIY 
•59% of people do not use qualified electricians when carrying out electrical work 
•48% of those surveyed did not know that their electrics should be checked at least every 10 years

Friday, 9 August 2013

Wall of Shame

We were looking through the NIC EIC's wall of shame and we found a local guy in there...

John Campbell, - Millwright Way, Flitwick, Beds

The wall of shame is for electricians advertising themselves as being registered with NICEIC when they are NOT. They are using the NIC logo on their websites, vans and paperwork to mislead those hiring them into believing they are registered with the NIC.

need a registered contractor?

Friday Fact

Taking a quick nap after learning something new can help strengthen your memory & stabilize your thoughts.

Friday Fact

Pentheraphobia is a psychological condition in which causes a person to hate their mother in law.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Green Technologies

As energy costs in the home continue to escalate and people make a conscious decision to live a greener lifestyle, there has been a growing demand for renewable technologies in and around the home over the last few years.

The government’s Green Deal initiative is also expected to see demand for renewable technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps, small scale generators and district heating systems grow substantially.

Installing renewable or green technologies can save householders hundreds of pounds off their annual fuel bill. Some technologies even allow you to earn an income via government funded initiatives such as the Feed in Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

NICEIC provides certification to businesses involved in the installation of renewable technologies and work under the Green Deal scheme.

find out more about the various green technologies available. 

  1. Solar Thermal Hot Water
  2.  Heat Pumps
  3.  Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
  4.  Biomass
  5.  Micro Wind Turbines


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A new fund to tackle rogue landlords & fire safety

Councils are to get additional finance to tackle rogue landlords who are not taking the issue of fire safety seriously.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced the creation of a £3 million fund as it seeks to deal with the issue of irresponsible rental property owners. All local authorities will be able to apply for a portion of the money.

Landlords are responsible for keeping the properties they rent out safe and free from health hazards. This includes making sure fire risk assessments are up to date and any changes are made off the back of these investigations.

A small minority of property owners in the UK are failing to offer their tenants a safe environment to live in, potentially putting their lives at risk in the process. Poor quality, overcrowded and dangerous accommodation can lead to a number of issues, including noise problems, sanitation issues, a greater fire risk and anti-social behaviour.

Thanks to the new funding, however, councils will be able to improve their capacity to investigate the practices of rogue landlords and prosecute where necessary.

Both the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 cover this. They set out the guidelines on responsibility and landlords have to ensure there is a means of emergency escape - this is especially important if there is sleeping accommodation on the second and third floors.

On top of this, fire doors, emergency exits, passages and escape routes all need to comply with building regulations. As a minimum, property owners should also make sure they remove potentially dangerous appliances and fit smoke alarms. Fire extinguishers and kitchen fire blankets also represent wise precautionary measures. If these are provided, a system needs to be put in place where they are serviced regularly, which is typically once every 12 months.
Under the terms of a fire safety order, it is also a legal requirement to periodically review the fire risk assessment.


TrustMark is a government-backed initiative to assist consumers to find a reputable contractor.
NICEIC is one of a limited number of scheme providers authorised to award TrustMark to electrical contractors.

TrustMark is an initiative supported by the Government, the building industry and consumer groups to help consumers find reliable and trustworthy tradespeople to make improvements and repairs to their homes. If a firm displays the TrustMark logo consumers can be assured that it has been checked against a set of standards set by the Government by a TrustMark approved body.

The TrustMark initiative recognises the difficulty consumers face in selecting reputable construction industry companies to undertake work in their homes.  The concept is to promote an identification mark which will become widely recognised by consumers as a mark of integrity, and allows them to avoid rogue traders and have confidence in the standard of work undertaken.

need a Trustmark trader

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Honey bees' electric charge makes them easy prey for spiders

Scientists have found that tiny electrical charges that build up as bees fly attract spider silk, making them more likely to be snared in a web.

The researchers claim electrostatic charge created by the fiction of the bee’s wings in the air is enough to deform the web and draw it closer to the insect.

“Insects can easily acquire electrostatic charge by walking over charged surfaces or by flying in an airstream of charged particles,” said Dr Victor Manuel Ortega-Jimenez, a research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

efficiency of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) - “efficiency droop”

The study, published in the journal Applied Physical Letters, describes a phenomenon referred to as “electron leakage” and provides a method to over come the limitations.

The team is led by E. Fred Schubert, the Wellfleet Senior Constellation Professor of Future Chips at Rensselaer, founding director of the university’s National Science Foundation-funded Smart Lighting Engineering Research Centre. Together with his colleagues, Schubert looked into the causes behind efficiency droop, unlike previous researchers, who focused on reducing it without finding the reasons for its occurrence.

The basic working principle of LEDs is based on the movement of high-energy electrons, which emit light, or photons, as they move between the different energy levels. The negatively electrons are injected into one of the sections within the LEDs, while the positively charged “holes” are injected into another. As part of an electrical current, the electrons and the holes move in opposite directions to each other.

In general, when an electron meets a hole they recombine and emit photons. The efficiency of LEDs is then determined by the amount of electrical current that runs through the diodes. The more current is applied, the less efficient the LEDs are.

The researchers established that electrons escape under higher currents due to the development of an electric field. Although this concept, also known as electron leakage” has been proposed five years ago, this study is the first one to present solid evidence relating it to efficiency droop.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Calls for electrical rental property checks every five years

Landlords should carry out checks on the safety of electrical installations in their rental properties every five years, according to a government working group.

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee made the calls for regular, mandatory checks in a report into the private rented sector (PRS) in England.

On top of the comprehensive inspections every five years, it also recommends that upon a change of tenancy there should be a visual check.

The move would help to boost fire safety for Britain’s huge population of renters, which only continues to grow as buying property becomes more unaffordable.

In order for these plans to be achieved, the government is hoping to join forces with the electrical industry to create a certification which would suit this purpose.

"We are delighted that the committee has made this recommendation," said Phil Buckle, director general of the Electrical Safety Council (ESC).

"We have, for some time now, been lobbying hard for such mandatory regulation in the PRS. The government’s own data shows that 21 per cent of England’s PRS contains category one hazards – the most dangerous risk to health and safety under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System."

Under government legislation, landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure electrical safety. This means checking that the electrical system, which includes sockets and light fittings, is safe and that all appliances supplied, such as cookers, kettles and refrigerators, are not dangerous.

If these safety requirements are not met, they can be a serious fire risk.

The Cambridge Fire & Rescue Service has said that more than half of accidental house fires start in the kitchen often down to a faulty appliance, many of which may have been recalled without the owner realising.

Stafier's solar roof tiles appear wafier thin

Just found this - very impressed

If aesthetic concerns are keeping you from buying some solar panels to stick on your roof, Stafier's expansion into photovoltaics may be of interest. As phrases go "support system" is about as exciting as sniffing cardboard, but though that is what this is, the upshot is that the solar panels are more or less flush to the surrounding tiles, keeping your roof's even appearance.
Though they appear to be extremely thin PV panels, they are in fact set into the roof, replacing the tiles that were there. The Dutch company claims the system works with more or less any sort of roof, and uses aluminium sheets to create a seal between your solar panels and ordinary tiles. A panel the size of four tiles can generate up to 55 W of electrical power.
According to Red Dot, which recently gave Stafier a design award for the product, the system has been tested under rainstorm conditions in a wind tunnel and found to be weatherproof (you'd hope, wouldn't you?). A ventilation system built into the rear of the tile helps keep them cool, as though PV panels like light, heat actually compromises their efficiency.

Employee of the Month July

is Mark Smith


Saturday, 3 August 2013

I know in this weather you are not thinking about electric blankets, but....

Ten thousand electric blankets are being recalled by high street giant Debenhams amid fears they may "catch fire".

Debenhams yesterday said it was recalling two makes of its "Sleeping Beauty" electric blankets after complaints from a handful of customers.

Despite the country enjoying a summer heatwave, the store insisted it had "withdrawn" the product, typically used in the depths of winter, from sale as soon as it became aware of the problem.

A spokeswoman said there was a risk of the electrical cable shorting out, which causes the bedding to "burn".

She insisted that none had over-heated and no fires had been caused.

But tests would be carried out to "ascertain" the risks and customers should bring the blankets back to stores "immediately".

The models affected are the "Tie-On Under Blankets, SB1001 and SB1002", which have been on sale since October 2011. 

So close yet so far

In July the blog was viewed 1999 times

thank you all for stopping by

Woolgar Electrical

Friday, 2 August 2013

World Wide Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who created the web to help scientists working at the European research lab at Cern. He says the secret of the rapid success of his invention was the fact he made it freely available.
Not all inventors are driven to make money but some want to make a contribution to the "common good", says Dr Tilly Blyth, Keeper of Engineering and Technology at the Science Museum.

"We tend to focus on the commercial development but in fact its often public and government research that has got it to that stage," Dr Blyth says. "If you look at the iPhone you think it's a great invention from Steve Jobs and Apple but look at the vital components like the screen, the chip and the processor and their origins were all in government-funded research."

"A lot of the real cutting-edge research comes from the pure and blue sky thinking done in public research facilities for the good of humanity rather than to make money."

Place Emergency Lighting Properly for Safety

fire safety legislation states that people in premises must be able to find their way to a place of total safety if there is a fire by using escape routes that have sufficient illumination.

The regulations, standards, and guidance on this issue are comprehensive and designed to ensure that each building’s particular needs are thoroughly examined and understood.

BS 5266, the code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises, offers guidance on the positioning of luminaires, minimum light levels, acceptable glare levels and minimum routine testing schedules. It states that, in open areas larger than 60 square metres, emergency lighting and signage should be installed.

It is important to bear in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all way of assessing the risk within a building. Buildings are all built differently and have specific uses. For instance, a hospital or home for the elderly will have different fire safety needs than an office.

When designing an emergency lighting system covering escape routes, luminaires should be installed at points of emphasis -- mandatory locations that need to highlight specific hazards, safety equipment, and signs.

They should be installed at points of emphasis, such as areas near stairs, at changes of level, and near fire-fighting equipment and manual call points. Placement should occur at each change of direction, outside and close to each final exit, at first aid points, at exit doors, and near safety signs.

Achieving the correct lux level is a must. BS 5266 recommends a minimum of 1 lux in escape routes and 0.5 lux in open areas. Emergency lighting should also be positioned in such a way as to ensure that people are free from disability glare, which can prevent obstructions or signs from being properly seen.

can we help?

Centrica free Saturday power plan

British Gas has said it could offer free electricity on Saturdays in a bid to reduce demand on weekdays.

The energy firm has announced plans to trial the initiative and could make it available to customers by mid-2014.

Centrica already offers a Free Energy Saturdays tariff to customers in the US.

A spokesman for Centrica said: "Our North American business offers a product for those customers in Texas who have a smart meter. Once we have trialed it, if it works then we could potentially offer it as a product for customers from the middle of next year."

One million UK homes and businesses already have smart meters installed, which automatically send readings to British Gas. Centrica hopes the scheme will encourage households to use electrical appliances at the weekend, when industrial demand is lower.

Scottish Gas may offer free Saturday electricity

SCOTTISH Gas has said it could offer free electricity on Saturdays in a bid to reduce demand on weekdays.

The energy firm has announced plans to trial the initiative and could make it available to customers by the middle of next year.

Parent company Centrica already offers a Free Energy Saturdays tariff to customers in the US.

A spokesman for Centrica said: "Our North American business offers a product for those customers in Texas who have a smart meter.

"We are looking to see whether we can introduce it into the UK for customers with a smart meter."

One million UK homes and businesses already have smart meters installed, which automatically send readings to British Gas.

Friday fact

The name Austin is of English origin and mean 'all forms of August '

enjoy August

Have a great weekend

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Aragon rolls out free internet courses

Social housing provider Aragon Housing Association is rolling out a programme of free computer courses to help tenants enjoy the benefits of the internet. 

Aragon has set itself up as a registered UK Online training centre and will be running the courses in its offices in Ampthill and at various housing schemes across the area. 

The ‘Learn my way’ courses cover everything from the basics of setting up an email address, to shopping online, job hunting and managing money online. 

Steve Nash, Aragon’s Community Development Officer, said: “We know there are many reasons why people don’t use the internet. We want to show people how easy it is and show them how they could benefit from having access to the web.  

“As more and more services are being operated online it’s vital people know how to access those services and about the many other ways in which going online can help them.” 

What is Ultra High Voltage DC (UHV DC)?

clever stuff :)

Lamp recycling

The number of lamps we recycle is phenomenal