This issue covers:
- Call for action on counterfeits
- Smartphone App boosts manual PAT capability
- New ‘Register My Appliance’ scheme
- Electrical fault causes Miserable theatre experience
- PC tablet charger safety concerns
- Fewer fires in Scottish homes
Call for action on counterfeits
The UK Government is being asked to take action over the issue of counterfeit electrical equipment.
Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) recognising the work of Electrical Safety First and its campaign to raise awareness of online sales of counterfeit electrical products.
The EDM calls on the Government to assess and tackle the number of dangerous counterfeit electrical goods being traded online – which contribute to thousands of domestic fires, and can cause significant injuries, in the UK each year.
Research by Electrical Safety First has found that sales of illegal, fake goods on social media are a growing trend and have increased by almost 15% in the last year – with seizures of fake mobile phones rising by over 50%.
“We are delighted that Jim Fitzpatrick has raised this issue in Westminster and thank him for his commendation of Electrical Safety First and its work”, says Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First.
“There is a significant issue with counterfeit electrical products which becomes particularly pressing during the Christmas period, when people are looking for a bargain. Unlike fake designer clothes or pirate DVDs, counterfeit electrical products can contain sub-standard parts, which can cause serious damage to both people and property.” More at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
Smartphone App boosts manual PAT capability
A powerful new mobile app packed with special features helps to convert manual PATs into semi-automatic testers complete with test results recording capabilities.
The PATMobile app from Seaward is specifically designed to extend the performance of the market leading PrimeTest 50 and PrimeTest 100 manual testers by providing easy access to a host of special test data handling options.
Available for use on Android and iOS devices, the dedicated app works with the testers to enable the digital input and storage of test records alongside barcode scanning, label printing, photo tagging and other complementary test functions.
The lightweight PrimeTest 50 and 100 testers incorporate extended long life battery power of up to 5,500 tests for the essential electrical safety testing of all electrical appliances – and will also check leads, socket wiring and mains voltages.
To support these PATs, and designed for low to mid-volume testing, the new Seaward PATMobile app enables downloaded test results to be kept in formal records, stored for future reference and distributed easily via e mail – eliminating the manual recording of results and paperwork normally associated with basic PAT testers.
The app also allows images of appliances taken on a mobile to be stored against test results and also enables test labels to be printed via Bluetooth connectivity with a compatible printer (label printing feature only available for Android devices). For ease of identification of appliances, the new app can also be used to scan barcodes or QR codes.
Seaward’s PATMobile app is available from the Google Play and Apple App Stores. Visit www.seaward.co.uk/PATMobile for more information
New ‘Register My Appliance’ scheme
A new website will provide alerts on any electrical appliance recalls or repairs.
Launched by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), the new website at www.registermyappliance.org.uk is designed to make it quicker and easier for the public to register all of their appliances.
According to new YouGov research, just over a third of British people buying appliances, 36 per cent, currently register all of their appliances with the manufacturer, meaning thousands of owners are virtually untraceable if a safety repair is required.
Register My Appliance will provide up-to-date, accurate contact information for owners who have acquired specific models of appliances within the past 12 years, so manufacturers can issue safety updates or repair notifications to the right homes.
The initiative is purely to ensure the safety of homes and families across the country, and information submitted to the website will only be used if required for safety notices.
Douglas Herbison, chief executive of AMDEA, said: “Domestic appliances have never been safer, but we have over 100 million large appliances in use in our homes, and we keep them running for 10 or many more years.
“The incidence of safety actions is very low, between 6 to 10 recalls a year, but unlike cars, if manufacturers need to make a free safety adjustment they have no way of tracing the majority of affected models.”
The site is also supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ROSPA.
More information at www.rospa.com
Electrical fault causes Miserable theatre experience
Emergency services evacuated more than 1,000 people from one of London's most popular West End theatres before Christmas after a piece of electrical equipment overheated.
The incident occurred during a matinee performance of Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue. A spokesperson for London Fire Brigade (LFB) said: "There was no fire but a transformer in part of the theatre overheated. The auditorium itself has not been affected.
"Two fire engines were on standby to oversee work by the UK Power Network. Around 1,200 persons were evacuated as a precaution before the arrival of the crews."
Audience members said on Twitter that they experienced a black out half-way through the show. Full story at www.standard.co.uk/
PC tablet charger safety concerns
Trading Standards officers have raised concerns over a brand of chargers for PC tablets sold at a local market.
Nottinghamshire residents who bought a PC tablet from Retford Markets are being warned about safety concerns regarding chargers with a particular model that has been sold in the last three months.
Complaints from residents were received about PC tablets purchased from the stallholder on Retford and Newark Markets that use a Swtec charger and Notts County Council’s Trading Standards team has been notified by another local authority that this brand of charger fails to meet electrical safety regulations.
Acting on the complaints the stallholder was removed. Residents will need to get in contact with the district councils to check if their model is affected and find out the contact details of the seller if they want to seek a refund.
Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, Chair of Notts County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “There is a risk that these chargers could cause a fire or could electrocute someone so we are urging people not to use the affected tablets. “
Full story at www.worksopguardian.co.uk
Fewer fires in Scottish homes
Electrical Safety First is delighted that the number of fires in Scottish homes has fallen – but the Charity warns that there is still much to be done to keep people safe around electricity.
According to figures from the Scottish Government, the number of domestic fires in Scotland decreased by 9% during 2014, falling from 5,834 in 2013 to 5,330.
However, the total number of fires in Scotland – including those occurring outdoors and in commercial premises, as well as those considered ‘non-accidental’ – has grown.
“Around two thirds of all domestic fires in Scotland are caused by electricity, with electrical products the prime culprit” explains Emma Apter, Head of Communications at Electrical Safety First.
“Given the issue in Scotland with fake and substandard goods – since 2010, Glasgow’s enforcement agencies, for example, have seized almost 10,000 fake electrical items, more than any other UK Local Authority – we can’t afford to become complacent about fires in the home.”
Electrical Safety First was instrumental in ensuring that the recent Scottish Housing Bill included a requirement for regular electrical safety checks in all privately rented accommodation. Details at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
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