Would you know if you fuseboard was unsafe?

When did you last check the condition of yours?
Your fusebox, or more accurately your consumer unit, could be thought of in much the same way as the engine in your car. All of your homes lighting, power and heating runs through and relies on the consumer unit for its continued safe operation – yes, even your gas boiler requires electricity in order to work. If the fuse blows then not only will you be sat in dark room with no TV or Internet, but you may also be left without heating or hot water.
What are the three main reasons that you may need a new fuseboard?
Protection against shock-
Is your fuseboard fitted with a Residual Current Device or RCD for short. It's fairly easy to spot, it'll be a trip switch with a button marked "T" or "Test" on it.
It used to be recommended that if you used an item of plug-in equipment outside such as a lawn mower or vacuum cleaner then you should plug in the appliance through one of these for added protection. Did you know that all modern consumer units should have these built in and the latest consumer units have them to protect all circuits, not just the sockets?
Fire Saftey-
Is the location of your fuseboard easily accessible by children?
Would it impede your escape in the event of a fire? Have a look at the location of your consumer unit. In the event of a fire would it block your means of escape? Many consumer units are located either in an under-stairs cupboard or by the front door and many of these cupboards are also used to store potentially flammable objects. It’s not unusual to find electric cupboards stuffed with clothing, old tins of paint, or oil - all of which pose a real risk in the event of a fire at your fuseboard.
Ease of use-
Do you have an old consumer unit that's fitted with rewirable fuses?
Now imagine you had just come home, switched your lights on only to find nothing was working. Would you know what to look for or would you know which fuse to check?
Simply by looking at the consumer unit you can’t tell. If you do find that it’s a fuse that has blown, would you have the correct fused wire to hand and would you actually be able to replace it (it’s incredibly fiddly believe me!).
You’d be surprised to know how many call-outs we receive simply to replace fusewire.
Does your fuseboard look anything like the ones in these photos?
Call now for a free survey and friendly advice.
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Bristol Electrician
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