What Do You Know About (PAT) Portable Appliance Testing?

Today we’re talking about PAT testing or Portable Appliance Testing. We’ll be focusing on the regulatory and legal requirements that PAT testing bestows on businesses and landlords. At GW Electrics we feel there isn’t always enough understanding when it comes to PAT testing and the ramifications of not adhering to some very strict rules.

Appliances Should Always Be Tested By Qualified Electricians

Firstly, let us reiterate what PAT testing is and why it should only be carried out by qualified electricians, who are registered on a government approved scheme. PAT testing is a process of testing all electrical appliances, for example, cookers, irons and fridges in a residential property, and computers, printers, kettles and coffee machines in an office. This ensures that all appliances are safe to use, and this is especially important if you are a landlord or in charge of a suite of offices or a business.

You Must Ensure The People Who Occupy Your Property Are Safe

Electrical accidents can result in serious injury or even death. As a landlord or employee/office manager you have a responsibility to make sure those who occupy your property are protected and safe from harm. All employees and tenants should feel safe, and relevant safety and security procedures set in place THAT help to keep them that way. PAT testing is one way this is done.

Five People Or More In Your Property?

If you do you need PAT testing every twelve months. It’s especially important if you have a business which employs five people or more, and we recommend you do this every twelve months. Landlords are also required to carry out PAT testing every twelve months, this helps to make sure that all appliances are safe to use by their tenants.

How Long Does PAT Testing Take?

Yes, there’ll be some downtime and the electricity will be off for a short period of time. It doesn’t, however, take as long as you might think, especially if the electrician knows his job and has experience of having done PAT testing many times before. He’ll have a system that is simple and straightforward, and you can simply let him/her get on with it. All you will need to do is make your team are aware that the electricity is going to be switched off for a short time. It is worth it as you’ll have peace of mind.

Don’t Neglect Your PAT Testing Needs

This could result in a fine or prison sentence. If you’re now beginning to realise your property needs PAT testing, regardless of whether you are an employer or landlord, you can contact us at GW Electrics and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs. We can attend at your property and carry out all PAT testing, including all functional checks, and insulation testing (and as equally important as all other appliance testing). We have a strong team of knowledgeable, qualified and trained electricians, who can carry out your PAT testing with confidence.

Thinking Of Updating Your Interior Lighting in 2019?

If you’re thinking of updating your interior lighting this year you’ve come to the right place.

At GW Electrics we’ve a fantastic range of styles, and we ensure we provide all of our customers with a thorough design consultation, so that you make the right choice of lighting for your home, or business space. When you include installation, we believe our interior lighting service is extremely comprehensive.

We work with a range of customers

We serve a variety of different clients including landlords, homeowners and various different sized businesses. We take pride in the versatility, professionalism and thoroughness of our service, and no matter how complex, no interior lighting job is ever beyond our trained and experienced team who have significant knowledge, expertise and professionalism to deliver an outstanding service with the minimum of fuss.

What interior lighting styles are popular at the moment?

One of the most exciting trends we’re seeing right now is minimalist lighting. Straight lines combined with the use of natural materials is becoming extremely popular. Using re-purposed materials can create something really special, and with the right kind of technology and effective design you can deliver interior lighting that captures the imagination. We can also create some straightforward designs - with your help - which combine sophisticated materials such as marble or wood and even concrete. They’re simple, yet very exciting, with the right amount of elegance and simplicity. And they can be extremely energy efficient too.

Sophisticated technology meets period classics

We can mine the past and reference it in your lighting. We’re talking sophisticated technology and the use of period materials. Think Art Deco or Art Nouveau, Victorian or 1940s elegance. For example, lamps can be made with opulent beads, mirrors or jewels and memorabilia from a different period. Combining a rihj history with modern lighting installation, creates something totally unique.

Creating futuristic lighting

We can take a modern or industrial setting and experiment with more artistic designs, unusual shapes and bases. Another idea is to try different types of metals, such as brass, chrome, copper or gold, mixing and matching these for more striking combinations, or use them individually. You could alternatively choose something more romantic using softer colours and textiles combined with pastels and gentler, more subdued materials.

GW Electrics – for interior lighting installations that suit your personal style

So, now that you know what we can do for your home in terms of sophisticated, reliable bespoke lighting installations, we’re hoping you’ll get in touch so we can start working on your interior lighting. Now that you know the kind of designs that are hot for 2019, you can decide what works best for you. Get in touch today and let’s start planning your lighting installations for the coming year.

The importance of Portable Appliance Testing

Portable Applicance Testing (PAT) is important and we’re going to be spending some time today explaining why and what it is exactly. Whether you’re an employer or a landlord you have responsibilities to the people you serve, and naturally, you want a safe environment for them to live and work in.

So, what is Portable Appliance Testing?

This is a term which describes the detailed examination and testing of electrical appliances. This is done so they’re deemed to safe for use. They’re tested to detect defects in electrical appliances, as these are not often captured by the naked eye. Yes, visual examination is important, but testing is too, so they’re both used in tandem.

Can You Carry Out A PAT Test?

Only a qualified and competent person can carry out PAT testing. That is a qualified and trained electrician. This person needs to be competent enough to carry out the job efficiently without endangering anyone’s safety, and they must have sufficient training and knowledge. They’ll also need the right equipment, the ability to carry out the tests themselves, the correct way, and then be able translate the results and convey this to the client.

PAT Testing is Vitally Important

If you run a business or you’re a property landlord, then it’s important that you have PAT testing carried out, regularly. It isn’t specified in the Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989 how often you have it done, but the frequency of how often it’s done, largely depends on what type of equipment is used and the kind of environment it’s being used in.

How Much Is Your Equipment Used?

Frequency of testing is largely determined by how much you use your equipment. If you use something regularly as part of your job, then naturally it’s going to need testing regularly, whereas if you’re a landlord supplying a table lamp then that won’t need testing as often, but a stove will, as it’s used more frequently. However, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to have all electrical appliances tested on an annual basis to ensure they’re safe to use.

PAT Testing Saves Lives

Don’t be under the illusion that it’s a fuss about nothing. PAT testing can save lives and there are enough case studies to prove this. If you don’t PAT test regularly, then you could be placing your staff or your tenants at risk of a life-threatening accident, so don’t leave it to chance.

GW Electrics – For PAT Testing In Domestic, Residential And Commercial Properties.

If you think you need your electrical appliances testing then get in touch with us here at GW Electrics - we’re always here to help. It’s simple and easy to arrange PAT testing and it’s a non-messy, straightforward procedure, so get in touch today and let us know your requirements.

5 signs that your home needs rewired

How will you know if your home needs rewiring? Today, we’ve come up with our most comprehensive guide yet on how to recognise the signs, that way you avoid the accidents that can happen when you have faulty wiring.

Firstly, a quick fire session on what to look out for:

Signs of wear – do your sockets look broken or worn out? Perhaps they’re the old-fashioned type you don’t see any more which are always a danger sign. Any visible wiring? That’s a sign of damage that needs to be fixed prior to use.

If you find sockets in the corners of rooms or if they’re warm or hot, that’s is a bad sign. Whatever you do, don’t use them and have them replaced with something more recent and safe.

When yo have sockets in the corners of rooms, it’s also a sign that no wiring work has been done for a long time. You’ll probably find there aren’t enough sockets, in which case you’ll need to have more fitted by a reputable and reliable electrician.

Are bulbs failing too often? Or perhaps they’re flickering more than they should, this is always a bad sign.

Take a look at your fuse box, is it fitted on a wooden panel and does it look old and worn? Also look out for black rubber wiring, switches made from heavy cast iron, all signs that your wiring system is old, tired and desperately in need of replacing.

Once you’ve gone through your house looking for the signs that your house may need rewiring, then it’s time to get in touch with a reputable electrician. You need to prepare yourself for a certain degree of upheaval. Most electricians, ourselves included, try very hard to make sure we never leave a mess behind us once we’ve finished, however there is going to be a certain amount of disruption so it’s good to prepare yourself. Some people move out while the rewiring is going ahead, and come back once the job is completed. There’ll be dust, so it’s best to cover up furniture and hide valuables or breakables until the job is done. However, we do use modern tools which are great for attaching to vacuums, so we deal with the dust as we go along – thus leaving less mess at the end.

There’ll probably be a certain amount of cleaning up after we’ve finished, but nowhere near as much you think. What you will have in the end is a home that’s safe to live in and where you’re not liable to have an accident when you switch the lights on. That’s one disruption that’s worth living with.

GW Electrics – for electrical work of a high standard from the best electricians in West Lothian

Do you think your home needs rewiring? Then why not get in touch with us here at GW Electrics and one of our team can talk you through it. We can come to your home and see what needs doing and give you a personalised quote, so don’t ignore the signs, give us a call today.

Tips for Choosing an Electrical Contractor

Are you looking for an electrical contractor? If so, then you’ll need to do your homework first. It can be a nightmare trying to find someone who is both trustworthy and qualified. Don’t leave it to chance because you could end up with dodgy work and more expense. With this in mind, today’s post is about tips for choosing an electrical contractor, someone who you know will do the job well and leave your home safe from harm.

There are key things to consider when choosing an electrical contractor

The key things you need to remember is to know what you want before you book someone, search for an electrical contractor via friends, word of mouth recommendations and online searches. Check references and whether they’re insured, get free estimates from at least three contractors, once you’ve whittled it down to the best ones, and get it all down in writing. 

Make sure you have a clear plan and a budget

Before you start your search are you clear on what you need doing? Make sure you have a clear plan and a budget in place on what you can afford to spend. Once you have that to hand and you know what you want, you can start searching for your ideal contractor.

Word-of-mouth recommendations

Start your search with friends and word-of-mouth recommendations. The best are always on people’s lips and are recommended because they’re good. This is probably one of the best ways of finding someone, and you can also see the work yourself, ask how long it took, and what they were like to deal with. You’ll get a pretty good idea of what you’re going to get and whether this is someone you can work with.

Whittle your list down to a favourite three and then ask for a free no-obligation proposal/quote

Whittle down your electrical contractors down to around three. Once you’ve narrowed it down to that essential three figure number, ask for a written proposal of what they offer. We say written down, because you want to see what you’re getting for what you pay for. You don’t want them changing the goal posts later, and you want a clear breakdown of what they’re going to do and what’s included in the price.

Online searches

It doesn’t hurt to try and do an online search as well. Find someone who’s got clear testimonials and perhaps pictures of their work, find people on there you can email to confirm their testimonials if possible.

Trade associations and guilds

You also want to see if they’re members of an association or trade/guild. This means they’ve had to qualify and train to a certain standard before joining, so this is a good sign. If they name the trade association they belong to, check it out to see if they’re registered.

GW Electrics – for quality electrical work that’s safe, to time and guaranteed

If you’re looking for secure electrical work done to time in your home this summer, consider us here at GW Electrics. We can show you our testimonials, samples of our work and discuss our comprehensive service with you so you can see what we do. We’re here for you, and if you think you need a reliable and trustworthy electrical contractor, get in touch.

CCTV & Burglar Alarms - Keeping You Safe Through Summer and Beyond

It’s important to keep both your home and workplace safe during the summer months when it may be considered a worthy hit for burglars. What you can do is to protect your properties by investing in quality burglar alarms and CCTV.

Don’t forget that summer means holidays, a time when you pack up for a few weeks and spend your time either with relatives here in the UK, or abroad for a little sun. In the meantime, while you are away burglars are on the prowl and an empty house is a great opportunity for a haul.

Keep Your Home Safe With CCTV Cameras

Installing CCTV is a disincentive for any would-be burglar. Just the sight of it should be enough to put them off. Your home is much less likely to be broken into if you have good quality cameras. A good CCTV system is a great way of keeping your home under surveillance and you may find that neighbours are happy to contribute financially towards the cost if they can also benefit from it too. Sharing a CCTV system with your neighbours will also include sharing the cost.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, but make sure you have quality cameras in place

However, CCTV equipment needn’t cost the earth and can start from modest prices, going up to thousands if you’re after a more top of the range system. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but if you want to capture clear images that will deter them or even lead to conviction, then you will need to invest in quality cameras. Also keep in mind that dummy cameras are easily spotted by experienced burglars.

Burglar Alarms

Burglar alarms are also very effective as a deterrent and for catching them in the act. Full systems can be expensive but you will at least have the assurance that your home is safe from harm while you’re away. You can have an alarm system that alerts the police or one that simply goes off on your property, if there’s an intruder.

If you do invest in a home security alarm system, they do come in different forms. Some will come with wave sensors which will detect movement and then set off an alarm. And as we’ve already mentioned it can either go off in your home or be attached to a local police station, or sometimes it can be a security agency.

GW Electrics – Premier Electricians in Glasgow

If you’re thinking of investing in a CCTV or a burglar alarm system come to GW Electrics, we’d be happy to install and advise on home security. We can help you choose something suitable, install it and talk to you about how you can make your home more secure. We also fit lighting, both indoor and outdoor, so if you want, you could fit lighting to the exterior of your property which can also act as a deterrent. Get in touch today and let’s see what we can do to help protect your property this summer.

Electricians Tips – Pet Safety Around Electrics

What can you do to make sure your pets are safe around electricity? In this week’s post, we’ve come up with some tips and tricks to keep your pets safe at all times when you’re using electrical appliances around the home.

Keep Your Home Safe So Your Pets are Safe Too

Pets are part and parcel of family life and naturally, you want to keep them safe. There are all sorts of electrical hazards which could harm your pet, so it’s important, and especially around young animals, to keep your home an accident free zone. Kittens and puppies especially are curious and always enjoy investigating, so anything that looks like it has the potential to fascinate will be a danger zone.

What do you do if your pets suffer a shock?

If your pets should suffer a shock, then they must be taken to a vet as soon as possible. You need to keep an eye out for abnormal heart sounds, difficulty breathing and naturally, loss of consciousness. If left unattended, it can result in death. If you think you may be in danger from shock, and you’re about to approach your pet, then make sure there are no lives wires or electric fires.

There are some things you can do to be extra vigilant and save your pets from accidents:

  • Never plug too many sockets in, they can overheat and cause a fire

  • Never leave appliances plugged in and switched on, or running by themselves while you are out

  • Don’t charge up mobile phones or tablets and then leave them unattended

  • Check all plugs, lights, cables and sockets for burns

  • Any unattended fans or heaters left on while you go out with pets around is a big no-no

  • There should be no cables trailing the floor, too tempting for dogs to chew on

  • Keep your fusebox and electricity meter away from anything that could potentially cause a fire.

Don’t leave your pets alone for long periods of time

Ideally, you should never leave your pets unattended for long periods, but if your pets are going to be left alone for a while, always make sure all cables, metres and appliances are switched off and put some place where they’re not a temptation for curious pets. That way you’ll have peace of mind while you’re away from home. Dogs and cats get bored if they’re shut away all day, especially dogs, they need stimulation and attention, so don’t leave them alone in a house with so much to tempt them, that way you’ll have a happier pet and a safer one.

As well qualified and trained electrician, here at GW Electricians we pride ourselves on good work done to time and carried out safely. If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed today, get in touch, we’ll be more than happy to help.

Electrician's Tips – Electrical Advice For Travellers

Depending on how often and how much you travel, you may be unaware that the way you use electrical equipment differs in other countries, there are differences in voltage levels, and plugs and sockets are also different to the ones we use in the UK.

Electricity safety standards also vary in other countries, so it pays to be cautious when when you go abroad. Today, we’re going to be looking at how you can keep yourself safe in another country when using electrical appliances, and what you can buy to help use them safely.

Simple Rules to Help You Avoid Electrical Accidents Abroad

You can follow some simple rules when you’re abroad to help avoid electrical accidents and some of them are listed here, they’re common sense rules that you’d follow when you’re at home:

  • Never touch anything electrical when your hands are wet

  • Never touch anything electrical if it appears damaged in any way

  • Never use electrical appliances in the bathroom

  • Always check the travel adapter you’ve brought with you, so it’s the right one.

You need to do a quick check before you go abroad to see which type of voltage and which type of sockets are used in that particular country. Buy travel adaptors and some voltage converters before you get there, you don’t want to be caught out without the right equipment once you’re there.

You can use your own electrical appliances abroad but do check the voltage and socket you’ll need, in all likelihood you’ll need a travel adaptor. Sometimes a voltage transformer is required because of the frequency, it could make some appliances work faster or slower than they would normally.

Use Your Electrical Appliances Abroad by Using a Travel Adaptor

A travel adaptor is used when you’re abroad and you need to use an electrical appliance. Often, sockets will need one pin less than the 3 used in the UK, and a travel adaptor will have these pins on them so you can still use your hairdryer, straighteners etc. A travel adaptor is a useful device but it won’t convert the voltage or the frequency.

Make Sure You Buy Your Travel Adaptor Before You Leave

There are lot of different travel adaptors you can buy, but you’ll always need to check the country you’re visiting first so you can purchase the right one. You can get travel adaptors which you can use in more than one country – these are quite handy and avoid the need to use more than one when you travel.

GW Electrics – Electricians in Glasgow

If you need any further advice on anything we’ve discussed here today, do get in touch and we can talk you through any questions you may still have. We are qualified electricians in Glasgow, professionally trained and experienced.

Advice For Recycling Electrical Goods

Like most people, you probably use a fair amount of electrical goods and appliances. Once they meet the required life expectancy, perhaps they become unsafe to use, beyond repair or they simply break, it’s time to dispose of them. The important question is, what do you do with your electrical goods once they are unfit for use? We’re hoping the answer isn’t to throw them in the garbage. If you have unused, broken electrical goods lying around we’re going to be showing you how you can dispose of them safely. That way they can be recycled and their parts used to make something else.

Recycling Electrical Goods Helps the Environment

Recycling your appliances is by far the most responsible and safest way to dispose of your electrical goods. If left on a landfill site, they can cause a lot of damage to the environment with hazardous waste products. Electrical items are usually made of a variety of different materials including steel and iron, two materials which can be used again.

WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electrical Equipment Directive

This directive was first introduced in 2007 and it governs how European countries dispose of their electronic goods. It helps to ensure that everyone abides by the directive and that electrical goods don’t wind up on a landfill site. They don’t directly affect you as a consumer, but they do offer good advice and make it simpler for you to recycle your old appliances.

If It Has a Battery or a Plug, You Can Recycle It

You can recycle any electrical item if it has a battery or plug. This criteria then would apply to most large appliances which you use in the home such as white goods: freezers, fridges, washing machines and dishwashers. It also includes smaller household appliances like toasters and kettles and all IT equipment, such as laptops and phones. Audio items can also be recycled, these would include headphones and mp3 players, you can also get rid of things such hairdryers, straighteners and electric toothbrushes,

Always Check Whether Items are Suitable to Recycle

  • Does it have a plug?

  • Does it use a charger?

  • Does it use batteries?

  • Does it carry the WEEE wheelie bin logo?

GW Electrics - Premier Electricians Glasgow

If you’re looking for a professional electrician in Glasgow and the surrounding areas for a job you need doing around the home, get in touch with us here at GW Electrics. If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed today, that is the recycling of electrical goods, then give us a call and one of our team will be more than happy to talk it through with you. We’re a friendly bunch, so don’t be afraid to give us a call.

Electrical Safety This Christmas

Millions of UK Homes at Risk of Fire This Christmas

New research has revealed that over three-quarters of Brit's homes are at risk this Christmas from potential electrical faults and Christmas lights being over-populated in the house. Studies highlight that 9 in 10 homes this year will be getting their house and garden decorated with festive joy and it was also revealed that 4 in 5 Brits admit over-doing it when it comes to putting the decorations up. However, that’s where the risk springs up as nearly half of homeowners have never had their electrics tested and can't recall when they were last checked. Most electrical issues are easily preventable in homes by getting your electrics regularly checked by a suitable, registered electrician.

Electrical safety in homes is very important all year round no matter what season, but at Christmas we seem to forget that all decoration lights we use around our homes increase the dangers to our family's and pets. You may have been consistently using the same faithful Christmas lights year in and out without any bother, however, what people are oblivious to that these faithful lights have a sell by date and will need to be replaced after that date expires to reduce faults occurring.

5 Things You Should Be Aware of When Dealing With Electrics This Christmas:

  • Don't overload sockets – Reduce plugging multiple extensions into one another, only use one adaptor per one socket, do not plug one adaptor into another and trying to keep using one plus per socket.

  • Do not re-wire your lights – Do not attempt to rewire your lights, this is dangerous and could lead to a potential fire cause.

  • Don't leave lights on – Many homeowners are tempted to leave their lights on 24-7 or just simply forget to unplug them at night or when they leave the house. Lights should only be switched on or plugged in whilst homeowner is at home to reduce the risk of plugs over-heating or faults occurring.

  • Use Christmas lights that have been certified for use – The European Standards Symbol and British Standard Kitemarks identify this, if in doubt or unsure do not use them.

  • Ensure outside lights are certified and safe for external use – Make sure the lights you use are specifically meant to be used for outdoors. If unsure check the manufacturer's instructions.

Don't Overload Sockets

The main problem for homeowners at Christmas is over-populating sockets with extension cables to fit the garden lights in as well as the indoor plugs. Homeowners need to be aware of not using an adaptor that uses more than 13 amps of current and should to restrict the amount of strain on their house systems

GW Electrics - Experienced Electricians

If you’re unsure whether your Christmas lights are safe to use this year, and you do not want to buy new ones, or you're unsure of the lights you've just bought, then get in touch. Here at GW Electrics our electricians in Glasgow have many years experience dealing with electrical safety and our team are all qualified and trained.