Electrical Safety in the Garden

Spring looks like it’s arriving after several false starts. Time to get out and about; Time to do some of that garden tidying up you always said you would do “when the weather gets better”.  Out from the shed with the lawnmower, the strimmer, the hedge cutter and all those other electrical gadgets that make life in the garden so much easier these days.  Now, just need to find that long extension lead that I put together last year…

Remember gardens are damp places; damp means moisture; moisture means wet; wet and electricity? No no.  So let’s just check on that extension you put together, starting with the cable. Any scrapes where you ran over it with the mower? Any cuts where you nicked it with the strimmer? Yes? Be safe and cut the bad end off and remake the connection to the plug or socket. What about the plug and socket? By the way it is a plug and a socket, not as I saw last week a 13 amp standard plug at one end and a 110 volt plug at the other? Are they damaged in any way, cracked or split? All pins okay? Replace any damaged plugs and sockets with new. Standard BS1363 UK 13 amp plugs are so cheap these days there is no excuse. If your lead is a long one, more than 12 metres, change the plug to an RCD safety plug replacement, especially if you are working outdoors. RCD fitted to extension leadThese are easily available for about £10 at your local DIY store.

 Finally fuses. There are only two standard ratings for domestic fuses in the UK; 3amp and 13amp. Remember the equation from school, Amps x Volts = Watts. Standard mains domestic voltage in the UK is 230volts. So the rule is a 3amp fuse for up to 700watts (3amps x 230volts equals 690 watts) and a 13amp for equipment over 700watts.

 J19 Testing can advise on your extension leads, check your cables are sound, and fit RCD plugs for your protection. Its part of the PAT testing procedures we undertake. 

 Safe gardening.