It is easy to take electricity for granted. A house is wired before the plasterers move in and it is only the sockets and switches that identify that electricity is even there. The external source of electricity is linked into the house via a meter to record consumption. Once available it makes the house function; everything from kitchen appliances to lighting. Electricity flows through the house and is on call whenever it is required. Whenever there is a power cut, and happily such things are infrequent, we soon realize the great importance of this utility.
Electricity is unseen and unheard. Its function sounds straightforward but it is essential that suitably qualified electricians do both the wiring of a house and oversee any major problems that occur. Most people can change a light bulb or a fuse, but electricity can be lethal if an inexperienced hand tries to rectify a breakdown. Evidence of that is in the winters between 2010 and 2012 there were almost 4,000 domestic electrical fires resulting in 14 deaths.
Properly trained electricians must go through an intense period of training in the UK in order to ply their trade. They need to obtain a City and EAL Certificate before registering with the Joint Industry Board (JIB) for the card under the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme to allow them to work. That is the minimum required, however, there are further qualifications that can be taken.
There are a huge range of electrical parts and components that wholesalers such as www.reconelectrical.co.uk have in stock to allow electricians to do their work. Good electricians know exactly where to go for everything they need.
Electrical installation is covered by the Electricity at Work Regulations and the local authority must be informed about certain types of work done in residential premises. While it is not against the law to hire an electrician who has not got the necessary certificates and qualifications to do certain electrical jobs around the house, it does not really make sense to take such risks, especially as it is the occupants of the house who will suffer if something goes wrong, not the person doing the electrical work. The register, ElectricSafe, contains the names of every electrician deemed competent enough to do domestic electrical work. It takes only a short time to refer to it in the event of any doubt.
Electricity is very convenient and should be perfectly safe. Small jobs can be done by a homeowner if the electrical supply into the house is turned off beforehand. It really shouldn’t be more than changing a bulb or fuse. Qualified electricians should be engaged for everything else.
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