Is My Consumer Unit / Fuse Board Safe?
Great Britain has a reasonably good record of electrical safety but figures available from Electrical Safety First (recognised by the government and industry as the leading technical authority and campaigning charity on electrical safety) show that figures from 2015/2016 were:
- 15,432 Fires caused by electricity (out of a total of 28.350 fires).
- Electricity also caused 4% of Fires in England.
- 1380 Fatalities and injuries caused by electrical fires.
- An average of 27 a week and 4 a day.
Old fuse boards that do not meet the current 18th Edition IET wiring regulations can become dangerous depending on the load placed upon them. Subsequently, every electrical installation deteriorates with age and use.
If your fuse board has a wooden backing, cast iron switches or a mixture of fuses it more than likely dates back to pre-1960 and will therefore need a replacement. These older fuse boards give little or no protection from electric shocks. They should have an upgrade to a new Consumer Unit which also meets the current 18th edition IEE wiring regulations.
The new consumer units which meet the current 18th Edition wiring regulations are all metal due to being fire retardant (plastic fuse boards/consumer units are no longer allowed to be installed) have dual RCD (Residual Current Breakers) to split the load and make sure that if one RCD trips then there is still some power to each floor of the property and gives protection against electric shocks.
Look at our checklist to see if you may need a new Consumer Unit / Fuse board:
- Has your wiring had a check in the last 10 years by a qualified electrician?
- Does your fuse board have replaceable fuse wire?
- Do your fuses blow quite often?
- Do you have lights that use twisted old type flex?
- Sockets and plugs – do they get hot or have burn marks?
- Do you need to use extension leads?
- Do you have flex that is rubber covered?
- Are your cables missing an earth cable?
- Do you use electrical equipment outside?
- Are you at all concerned about your electrical installation?
Faulty and ageing wiring is a major cause of electrical fires in the home. You can protect yourself by having regular checks carried out on the condition of your cables, switches, sockets and other accessories. Please do click on the link “how safe is your home” for a booklet available from Electrical Safety First. This will provide you with guidance and safety advice.
Please also click here to view the other Electrical Services we provide.
We look forward to being of service to you.