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The Importance of Smoke Alarms

Ian Burnett

Today’s post we’re going to be discussing the importance of smoke alarms. Smoke alarms can save lives, and because we’ve worked with electrics and the dangers of fire for so many years as electricians in Edinburgh we know what we’re talking about. We’re hoping that by the time you’ve read this you’ll be more knowledgeable and more aware of how important it is to have a smoke alarm installed in your home.

Being without a smoke alarm can cost lives

Firstly, we’re going to give you a few statistics so you’re aware of how dangerous it is to be without an alarm. Each year 500 lives are lost to house fires with most occurring in the middle of the night between midnight and six in the morning. This is when most people are asleep and most likely to be slower in reacting to suspicious smells or sounds. In fact, according to First Alert UK, your sense of smell will decrease to the point of non-existence, so having an alarm in place will give you a significantly greater chance of escape.

Faulty electrical appliances are often the culprit in home fires

There are just under 60,000 house fires a year here in the UK and most of them are caused by electrical faults, mostly misuse of equipment, and these are mostly cooking appliances. So, you will begin to see why making sure your appliances are safe to use and that you use them properly plays a part here too.

Misuse of smoke alarms can be hazardous

You would think that once someone buys a smoke alarm for their home they were safe, but you’d be surprised at how once installed, smoke alarms are largely neglected in some homes. This can be lethal. It’s estimated that at least 30% of alarms in the UK don’t work because their batteries are flat, or someone’s disconnected the batteries.

So why is it important to have a smoke alarm?

Its importance lies in its ability to give you fair warning of imminent fire giving you plenty of time to react. There are lower rates of casualty as a result of having a smoke alarm installed. First Alert UK tells us that a smoke alarm will give you 4 times the chance of surviving a fire.

VC Electrical qualified and experienced electricians, Edinburgh – for all your electrical faults, wiring and smoke alarms

If you’re having smoke alarms fitted in your home and you’ve decided on electrical ones, then please have them fitted by professionals, preferably by us here at VC Electrical. We have plenty of experience, and we’re all fully qualified and trained to carry out electrical work and install electrical smoke alarms. Remember, if you have any appliances you’re not sure of get in touch and we can repair, better to be safe and sorry.

Electrical Safety Advice for The Whole Family

Ian Burnett

What can you do to keep yourself safe at home with electrics? Accidents can happen quickly and can result in a hospital visit or worse, so with this in mind we’ve come up with some electrical safety advice for all the family and we hope you find it of use.

As responsible electricians in Edinburgh we care about our customers, and because we’ve been doing this for over 20 years we know and understand the dangers of electricity. When you’ve been working with it for as long as we have, we know that while it’s useful and we’d be lost without it, it can also be extremely dangerous if you’re careless.

Appliances

Naturally, appliances are extremely useful and necessary and they can be anything from a clock to an iron, from a microwave oven to a food mixer.

When you’re not using your appliances always keep them out of the way, not left around with the socket on. Keep them out of the way of children especially, and of course any pets if you have them. Anything that can generate heat, like TVs, laptops or clocks should be given several inches to sit without being left in a cluttered area. This helps them to stay cool and for the heat to circulate. Whatever you do, don’t drape items on them. Follow instructions that come with your appliance to the letter if you can and don’t try any repairs yourself unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Keep all appliances away from water.

Cords

From appliances we come to cords, because all appliances come with its own cord. Always be vigilant with your electrical cords. Make sure you check each one for cracks and frays, any damage at all. Do this each time you use them and always make sure you only use cords for their intended use, they’re not for any other use, so never allow your children to play with them and especially when they’re switched into a socket. Always make sure you plug them in firmly so they’re all the way in and never nail your cords into a fixed position.

If you use an extension cord, remember that it is only ever as a temporary measure, don’t use them all the time. When you reach to unplug an appliance from the wall, don’t tug on the cord itself but pull at the socket, from the plug.

VC Electrical

Reliable, dependable and experienced electricians in Edinburgh. With 20 years’ experience under our belt and a team of professional qualified and trained electricians, we know electricity inside, and out and we would always encourage our customers to treat electricity with respect and never play with it, or you could be literally playing with fire. If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed today, please get in touch with us here at VC Electrical, and one of our friendly team will be more than happy to help.

Best time to replace heating systems

Ian Burnett

When it’s time to replace your heating system, when is the best time to do it? If you’re planning on changing it and you’re not entirely sure when to do this, then today’s post should help.

You may find this surprising, but summer is the best time of year to change your heating system. The reason for this is because, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of disruption involved so summer is better. During the winter, you’re not going to want disruption in your heating supply. You’ll want it to be warm and cosy exactly when you need it, and changing from one system to another is going to mean switching your heating off for a time.

You’ll find an available engineer quicker

In summer from a practical standpoint, your boiler engineer is going to be less busy in the warmer months. There’s going to be less demand on his/her time, and this means you’ll be able to get someone in quickly. This will also give you time to shop around a bit and find an engineer who is just right for you and your home. Take three final quotes from those you like the look of and then decide which is the right one.

Frozen house, frozen pipes – not a good mixture

As you can imagine you’re going to be without a boiler for a few days while you’re getting the new one fitted. This isn’t going to be exactly ideal if it’s in the middle of winter when the weather is at its coldest. If your boiler is out of action for a few days then you could get frozen pipes and that’s not good. If you have it all done in this summer these are things you can avoid, so you’ll have a stress-free winter.

Plan ahead

By planning ahead you’re giving yourself time to choose the right heating system for you and also giving yourself that extra time to understand how it works and how to operate it, especially if you’re transferring over to something you’ve not used before.

Reduced energy bills, kinder to the environment

By sorting your heating system out in advance you’ll save money in the long-run too. You can reduce your utility bills by changing over to a more efficient heating system, a system that has a better energy rating so you’ll save money and the environment. By giving yourself extra time, you’re going to gain advantages in terms of adjustment to a new system, saving on energy bills and reducing the disruption by having it done in winter, when you’re going to need your heating to be working efficiently to counteract the cold.

For the best electricians in Edinburgh, it has to be VC Electrical

We are a team of busy and successful electricians in West Lothian, we’re fully trained, qualified and reliable. Our work is mostly by word of mouth and we love what we do. We consider customer service to be of great value and we won’t leave any job if it’s less than satisfactory. Want to change your heating system? Why not get in touch and let us do it, let’s talk about what you want from your heating system.

How to prepare for a house rewire

Ian Burnett

As successful electricians in Edinburgh we know how stressful rewiring is for many customers. We know that it can be quite chaotic and a little messy. We really empathise, and we always make sure we create as minimal a mess as possible, always clearing up after we’re done. Because we know from experience how daunting customers find house rewiring, we’ve dedicated a post to this very topic, so we can help you prepare as much as you can before you go through it yourself.

What needs doing where and where do you want everything?

Before anyone starts work make sure you know which areas are in need of rewiring and what you want to go where. Rewiring is usually a requirement if you’ve moved into a property which is quite old, this is great for renovations and refurbishments as it can really add value to the property. However, for yourself, while you are living in it, you will need to have some if not all the house rewired so it’s safe to live in.

Why do you need your house rewiring?

Anything that was installed in the 1950s, 1960s will need rewiring no matter how quaint it might look. You will need a modern fuse box that has the ability to cut out the entire system should anything happen so you don’t get an electric shock. This cut out system or circuit breakers as they’re sometimes known can save lives. Look out for any fuse boxes that have wooden containers with a mixed-bag selection of fuses, they will need to be replaced.

Prepare your house in readiness

Now you know which areas of your house need rewiring and why, you’ll need to get your house prepared. Carefully plan everything you need to do. Remove all you can, such as any carpets or old furniture from the previous owner, because wires will run underneath floors, walls, across ceiling. Electricians will need to lift floorboard and cut into ceilings to get the wires in safely. Plaster will need to be cut into in order to install new switches and sockets. The reason why it’s a good idea to know what’s going to go where in any particular room is so you’ll have a better idea of where you’re going to need sockets, plug points and lights.

Plan ahead

If you plan ahead properly you should know pretty much where everything will go and it’s a good idea if you stick to it. Don’t add things like extra lights or sockets later as you go as it could be costly. It’s more cost effective to plan ahead and know what you want and stick to it.

Tech gadgets and future plans

Also consider all the tech gadgets you’re going to want and in the future. Make your home tech friendly by making sure you have electrical circuits that are good enough for the job. Plan ahead and make sure whether you want speakers in every room or a security system, perhaps you have particular wi-fi needs and you’d like phone sockets in each room. Whatever it is you think you might like in the future, plan for it now.

It might be a good idea to move out till it’s over

If you’re currently living in the property, move out. It’s really hard to carry on living in the property while there’s electrical wiring going on at the same time. You’ll need to cover any furniture you have lying around to protect it from dust and move any electrical equipment into another room. It may be far easier to move in with friends or stay with family until it’s finished. There’ll be periods when the electricity has to be off, so it’ll be difficult to cook, wash or use TV etc.

VC Electrical, the best Electricians in West Lothian – for professional rewiring done to exceptional standards

If you’re looking to rewire your property you won’t do better than VC Electrical, we’re successful because we’re good and because customers recommend us. We always strive to see things from the customers point of view, so we can empathise and treat your home as if it was our own. Get in touch and fire any questions at us about what we’ve discussed today, or any other electric related topic.

Why Choose LED Lighting for Your Outdoor Space?

Ian Burnett

Why would you choose to use LED lighting instead of conventional lighting? We’re going to be discussing this in today’s post, because we believe that LED lighting is by far the better option, and we’re going to spend some time explaining why.

What are the benefits and advantages of using energy efficient LED lighting?

Basically, LED lighting provides an intelligent solution to conventional lighting, in that it saves energy, and in turn saves you money. Rather than constantly replacing your outdoor lighting, with the use of LED you’ll be using them for much longer before they run out.

Digital benefits and less energy consumption

LED lighting has many other benefits too. LED is digital, and through being digital rather than analog, the earth benefits as well as your wallet. As well as being kind to your wallet and the planet, LED lighting lasts a long time, it works even in bad weather, it’s low maintenance and it uses at least 90% less energy than conventional lighting.

Because they’re low maintenance you won’t have to spend time constantly replacing failed lights and this is good, because if you have lights as a security or safety measure, you won’t have to worry about them constantly going off or wearing out.

Efficiency and flexibility

They’re efficient because they outperform fluorescent and incandescent light sources and the light produced by LED is so directional that it helps when deciding where to place the lights outside your home, as you know exactly where the light will fall.

Great energy savings

LED lights use very little power, and as a result give great energy savings for you as a homeowner. LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular globally as a result of this, and the more LED lighting that’s used, the better it is for the planet.

They burn just as brightly

The argument that LED lights aren’t as bright as the old lights is a bit of an old myth. The wattage system is slightly different to the old incandescent bulbs; however, they do give out as much light and are every bit as bright. The good thing about LED though is that it gives out as much light but uses less energy.

LED lighting is versatile

Another benefit of using LED lights is that they don’t produce quite the same amount or kind of heat as incandescent bulbs, and this also means there’s no IR radiation. This allows LED lights to be used in places that would otherwise be unsafe such as near or in food or textiles.

VC Electrical for all your lighting needs, indoor or outdoor.

If you’re on the lookout for outdoor lighting, and we’ve convinced you that LED lighting is a worthwhile investment, then why not get in touch with us here at VC Electrical the experts in outdoor lighting. We know enough about this area to help you with your questions, so get in touch today about what we’ve discussed, or on any other matter.

 

Landlord services: What We Offer

Val Chisolm

Today we’re going to be talking about the services we offer to landlords. It’s a bespoke service to clients who own property they rent out, and each service we provide is something we’re all trained and qualified to do. What you get with VC Electrical is a suite of landlord services that give you peace of mind so you can focus on other aspects of your property business. Read on to find out which services we can offer you as a landlord.

EICR

We’ll start with the EICR. This is the electrical inspection report for testing all electrical installations and should be carried out at least between 3 to 5 years. What the report will check is electrical circuits or equipment, potential fire hazards and any potential electric shock risks, defective electrical equipment and lack of bonding or earthing.

We will test both the wiring and any fixed electrics to check they’re safe to use. The EICR tests can only be carried out by trained professionals who are accredited and are registered electricians. All electrics in your property will be checked against BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations.

PAT Testing

PAT testing is also a service we carry out and it’s similar to the EICR. It tests both electrical equipment and appliances to ensure they’re safe to use. Testing is a good way of detecting faults so you know your tenants are safe. Again, a competent person is appropriate for the PAT testing which is carried out at reasonable intervals.

Fuse Board Testing

Fuse boards are an important part of your electrical installation. Unfortunately, there are still too many old fuse boards causing accidents because they are out of date. A new more up to date fuse board can be the difference between life and death, and by getting a new one, you can protect your tenants by giving them added protection.

RCD

An RCD protected fuse board can prevent electric shocks and fire so they’re a vast improvement on previous, older ones. RCDs can save lives and works by switching off electricity when there’s a fault. If you cut through a cable in an accident for instance, the RCD will cut off the electricity so you don’t get a shock from the exposed wires.

We’re well qualified to be able to provide an excellent fuse board replacement, making sure they meet with the standards. We’ll also test your electrical installations and provide certification once completed, so you know everything is working as it should.

We have many years’ experience in the job and provide a seamless suite of electrical services that benefit our clients and help to keep their properties running smoothly. As well as EICR/PAT testing and replacing fuse boards we also provide a service installing carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, another safe way of preventing electrical fire accidents.

VC Electrical

We are premier electricians in Edinburgh providing an excellent service throughout the area for landlords and domestic customers. If you need any of the services we’ve mentioned today, or you’d like to talk to us about any of our other services, then please get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.

Electricians Tips – Energy Saving

Val Chisolm

As you may be aware, energy prices are on the rise, so what can you do to save on energy and keep your wallet healthy? Today we’re going to be talking about energy saving tips – from the experts, from electricians such as ourselves. We hope you find what we’ve put down here of use.

Bulbs

If you’re still using the old bulbs because they seem brighter, give up on these. They don’t last as long as energy saving bulbs and they’re more expensive in the long run, even if they’re costing you less per bulb right now. Think about how many times you’ve had to replace them.
On the other hand, an energy saving bulb uses much less energy, around 80% less but produces the same amount of light. And you can get them just as bright now as the more conventional ones you’ve been using. They reduce energy costs and you could save over £50 a year as a result, because they last so much longer.

Do you really need to use a tumble dryer?

They use a lot of electricity to dry your clothes, and it’s cheaper to use a clothes horse or washing line. If do you think that a tumble dryer is an essential item in your home, then always make sure it’s full but never overload it.

Dishwashers

Could also do with being full and not half empty. The fuller it is (but obviously without overloading it), then the less times you’ll need to use it, and you’ll save on energy.

Washing Machines

Try a 30c wash instead of a 90-100c one. You’ll save energy when you wash at a lower temperature.

Kettles

These should never be over full but only boil the water you need to make a cup of coffee or tea, whether it’s for one or two.

Energy Ratings

If you’re buying new appliances, always look for the energy rating. If you’re buying second hand white goods, always check this. If it’s an old one, the appliance you think you’re saving money on could be less energy efficient and that could cost you more money in the long-run.

You can also save money on energy bills by simply switching off your appliances when not in use. Use more energy saving appliances and if you can, insulate your home properly if it isn’t, that way you’ll also save money too.

If you have any questions on what we’ve discussed today, give us a call here at VC Electrical. We’re full trained and qualified electricians and one of our team will be more than happy to help you.

Does My House Need Rewiring?

Val Chisolm

We’re going to be taking a look at whether or not your house needs rewiring to help you identify the signs so that you can avoid an accident or damage to your home.

Often before moving into a new home a full rewire is carried out as part of an upgrade. This is usually considered a safe option if you’re moving into a new home with an older system. If you’re thinking of doing this make sure you use a fully qualified electrician who is registered.

Old Electrics will probably need to be replaced

As a rule, any electrical system that’s more than 25 years old will need to be rewired, so it’s always a good idea to find out how old your electrical system is. This way you can make a sensible decision on whether it needs rewiring.

It’s a good idea to have someone qualified and registered as an electrician to come over and check the electrics in your home, and they can show up any faults or repairs that need doing, they may even recommend a full rewire.

EICR

An EICR which is a condition report, is usually carried out by a registered electrician, that is, someone who’s trained and qualified and registered with an official body. This type of report will also give you an idea of cost, especially if you’re going to be upgrading the system and possibly remodelling it so it will have additional circuits.

There will be a bit of a mess

A full rewire is quite a large job and is usually something that’s carried out before plastering or décor. As you can imagine then, there’s a lot of mess and upheaval, and if you do already have a house that’s plastered and decorated, then you’ll probably have to do all this again once the job has been completed.

The circumstances where a full rewire may be necessary is when the system is more than 25 years old, as already mentioned, but there are also other important reasons why you should have a rewiring.

These would be such things as the current system has becoming unsafe to use, or if there’s been fire or flood damage, or perhaps when the installation of several new circuits are required.

There’s some upheaval with a complete rewiring

As well as the upheaval that rewiring entails you may be wondering what else it involves. Normally, all fittings, sockets, switches and unit will be taken away and replaced by new ones. There’s two step process which is known as first and second fix. A member of our team here at VC Electrical can talk you through the finer details of what these two fixes entail.

The benefits outweigh the disadvantages

The benefits of a complete rewiring are that your house will be much safer and your home will fall in with the latest regulations. You’ll be able to have all the sockets you need for all sorts of new appliances, new light fittings and basically modernise your house so it accommodates any new mods and cons – safely.

How long does it take?

It usually takes around 5 to 10 days and there will be a little disruption which your electrician will warn you about. If you are considering a rewire, and you decide to go ahead, you’ll need to inform your local building control department as it must comply with safety standards.

Building regulations and getting a quote for rewiring

You’ll need a registered electrician to carry all this work out on your home because the work will need to comply with Part P of the building regulations safety standards, and this will require certification and notification once it’s been completed.

As you can imagine it can be expensive so it’s a good idea to look for 3 quotes and decide on the best from the 3 fully qualified ones you choose. Keep in mind that’s it’s not necessarily a good idea to go with the cheapest option, cheap isn’t always the best. The most important thing to remember is to go with the safest option.

If you have further questions about eletrical rewires then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical where a member of our team will be more than happy to help you.

What Makes a Good Electrician in Edinburgh?

Val Chisolm

What makes a good electrician in Edinburgh is what would make a good electrician anywhere else in the UK. We’re going to be looking at some of the things you need to look out for when hiring an electrician, that way you can avoid making the common mistakes some people often make.

What to Look For in an Electrician

As you can imagine, being an electrician is hard work and involves years of training, both in college and on the job. It’s a hands-on profession where you need good coordination skills and the ability to work under pressure. You also need to know what to do in an emergency and be able to think on your feet. Working with electricity carries a lot of danger, the wrong circuit, the wrong component, and it can result in something bad happening.

Fully Trained and Experienced

As you can imagine then, it’s important that you have a fully trained and experienced electrician working in your home. They will have had hands-on practical experience as well as qualifications in order to be good at their job. They need to be able to navigate a problem and know what to do, offer a solution and make repairs safely and to time using quality equipment, materials and tools.

Customer Service and Communication Skills

Good communication and a commitment to customer service is an essential skill and one you should look for when hiring one. They need to be articulate enough to be able to explain what the problems are and then explain to you what their chosen solution is. They should also be able to solve the problem right away or be able to recommend someone who can, with a realistic timeframe in which to complete the job.

How do you find someone with all these skills?

To begin with, ask for word of mouth recommendations from friends and work colleagues, and ask them what they were like to work with and how would they rate the work they carried out. Also check out their website, are they a member of a trade association? Do they have testimonials and pictures of the work they carried out for former customers, and can you get in touch with them to confirm they did the work?

Trade Association Membership

Being a member of a trade association is hard work and takes a lot of effort in order to become accredited. Electricians need to provide qualifications, evidence of training and continuing proof of personal development and technological improvement in their skill as an electrician. Therefore, if you do find an electrician claiming to be a member of a trade association, check they’re registered with them, and you’ll then know you’re dealing with someone who is who they say they are and that they’re qualified and trained to carry out the work.

VC Electrical – Qualified, Trained and Experienced Electricians in Edinburgh

If you’re looking for an electrician in Edinburgh to carry out work on your domestic or commercial property, get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We’re an experienced team of professionals and we’d be happy to discuss your problem and provide a solution.

Electric Heating: The Benefits

Val Chisolm

What are the benefits of electric heating systems? This is something we are going to be exploring in today’s post. We believe that a source of electrical heating has great benefits for homeowners, but read on to discover more.

Low-cost Installation and Quick to Get Up and Runnin

Electric heating is easy to install, there’s no pipework, and it takes minutes to connect, you’ll also be pleased to know there’s minimal disruption to furnishings and fittings, so you’ll be up and running in no time. You can add to the heating as well by purchasing new heaters as and when required. All electrical heaters work as standalone units or as part of a simple electrical system, so you can always add to it if you need to.

You Never Waste Heat With Electricity

Rather than waste energy through the flue which is what happens with gas, electric heating uses up 100% of its energy for heat, it’s converted directly, and this is unique to electricity as opposed to wood and gas.

Instant Heat and Warmth

Electric heating is instant, you don’t have to wait for it heat it up. The device you use will respond right away and it’s silent too with no odour. You’ll never have to worry about contamination and you can control the heat better.

Electric Heating is Easy to Control

There’s a single thermostat which will control the temperature of each room so the heater will automatically adjust to the temperature you’ve chosen, this way you’ll save on energy rather than wasting it and you’ll never be too hot or too cold.

An electrical heating source is going to not only give you easy, instant heat, it’s also going to give you quick installation if you’re having it for the first time. Over a lifetime, it’s probably one of the most efficient and economically affordable heating system.

Little to No Maintenance and No Fluctuating Prices

You’ll find that the heaters used with electric heating require very little in the way of maintenance as they rarely break down, so you will save on repair costs. Another advantage to having electrical heating rather than any other source of heating is that the price of electricity doesn’t fluctuate in quite the same way as other forms of energy, so you do save money in the long run and you can budget sensibly with no nasty surprises.

VC Electrical For All Your Electrical Heating Needs

If you think you’d like to convert all your heating system over to electric heating, then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We have a team of qualified and trained professionals who are experienced in fitting electrical heating systems. We work hard to make sure our customers are satisfied with our level of service and prioritise communication and customer service very highly. Give us a call and let’s get that electrical heating system in place.

Guide to Buying Outdoor Lighting

Val Chisolm

Outdoor lighting will be for two purposes in the main, to create ambience and a bit of welcome light for guests, and for a little security. The latter will light up the area outside your door or gardens, both front and back, allowing you to have a clear view of visitors to your property.

Curb Appeal

A light on your front door will provide security but also a certain ambience, so it can be both practical and stylish. First impressions always count and when your visitors arrive for the first time, you want to make sure you’ve provided a stylish impression of what’s within.

There’s a Versatile Range of Lighting Effects Out There

There’s a whole range of different lights from which to choose. You can use landscape lighting, decorative lanterns and place them anywhere. It could really make a dramatic difference to the exterior of your home.

Keep Up With the Trends

Keep yourself informed with lighting trends and keep your home in tune with modern fixtures. It could have an impact on the value of your home, increasing it’s worth. By highlighting the landscape and the exterior of your house, perhaps parts which are particularly proud of.

Make Your Guests Feel Welcome

You’ll also find that good lighting helps make visitors feel welcome. Whether you know them well or whether they’re visiting for the first and only time. Make them feel like they’re welcome and you’ll get onto the right foot from the get-go.

Outdoor Entertainment

If you love to entertain outdoors, whether it’s a barbecue in the summer, a light supper in the autumn or a full-on party in the height of winter. The right kind of exterior lighting can make a tremendous difference to your outdoor gathering, creating the right mood and feel for an evening party.

Outdoor Lighting – It Serves a Multitude of Functions

Good outdoor lighting strategically placed to offer security and safety can also provide ambience and mood to evening entertainment. Outdoor lighting can also help increase the value of your home, allowing potential buyers to see the surrounding landscape, garden, and any parts of the exterior of your house you want to highlight.

VC Electrical – The Electrical Experts

If you want a set of outdoor lights fitted in the exterior part of your property, whether it be in the doorway or garden, then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical, we have the technical expertise to help you create a really effective light show in your garden without breaking the bank.

Electricians Tips: Pet Safety

Val Chisolm

What can you do to make sure your pets are safe around electricity? It’s important that you provide a safe environment for you pets, and that includes making sure that gas and electric appliances are not a danger to them when they’re around. Our electricians tips will focus on electric appliances and what you can do to make sure your pets are safe from harm when they’re in the home.

Don’t Let Curiosity Be a Danger to Your Pets

Curiosity is a wonderful thing and very entertaining, however, you’ve heard of how curiosity killed the cat, and electricity is dangerous to both animals and humans. So what can you do to protect your pets from accidents and hazards?

Check, Check & Check

Firstly, always check what’s in your sockets, don’t overload them and don’t leave mobile phones to charge for too long, they can overheat. Don’t leave things running by themselves while you’re out, such as washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers. Also, keep in mind that curious pets can sometimes wander into interesting warm, dark areas, thinking they’ve found somewhere nice to sleep, check your washing machines and tumble dryers before you switch them on.

Check all your plugs, lights, cables and sockets and make sure they’re not damaged in anyway, also look out for burn marks. If think you’re going out for a long period of time, don’t leave any heaters on unattended, portable ones are usually more of a danger, especially if your pets are a little excitable.

Pets like to chew things, puppies especially, so don’t leave cables attached to live sockets, that includes your mobile phones.

Electrical Safety and Your Pets:

  • Don’t let your pets fall asleep near a socket that’s switched on, or near an open bar electric fire or portable heater

  • When you do have sockets in, make sure they’re all the way in, rather than hanging out, your pets may find it fascinating, but if they start to chew or attempt to pull them out, they could be electrocuted

  • Freestanding lamps can reach high temperatures, if knocked and they fall over, they could cause a fire

  • An electrical storm means keep your pets indoors

  • Aquariums should be watched, especially where cats are concerned. With electricity in mind make sure the electrical cords have drip loops so it controls the way the water travels safely

  • Underground electrical cables should be buried deep enough not to cause an accident should your dog be a little enthusiastic when it comes to digging.

Remember that electrical shocks can be every bit as dangerous to an animal as it is to a human, so always check them carefully if you think they’ve been near an appliance and had a shock.

Look Out For: -

  • Burn marks

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Abnormal heart rhythm

  • Loss of consciousness.

VC Electrical – Safe and Reliable Electricians Edinburgh

As reputable electricians in Edinburgh, we understand that a good portion of our customers have pets and we know how dangerous electricity can be. That’s why when we send an electrician to your home to carry out some work, we always make sure we work safely and securely, making sure your home is safe from electrical hazards and accidents. If you’re unsure of anything, or if you have any questions resulting from today’s post, get in touch and one of our trained electricians will be more than happy to help.

Electricians Tips: Electrical Safety in the Garden

Val Chisolm

Sometimes from time to time, we may need to use electrical appliances in the garden, and with this in mind, it comes as no surprise that in actual fact, there are all sorts of hidden dangers lurking there.

We know that using electrical equipment outdoors is quick and convenient but because of bad weather it can sometimes be dangerous. Of course, water and electricity are poor bed fellows and we all know how important it is not to mix the two.

Residual Current Devices or RCD

This is very important and should be used with sockets. Without it, if you get a shock using a lawnmower or hedge trimmer or any appliance which uses electricity, then it could kill you. Make sure you test the button on the RCD to make sure it’s working properly, that is unless it’s been tested within the past 3 months.

When you’re using the lawnmower, or trimmer to keep the garden tidy make sure you keep the cables, plugs and any connections free from potential damage. You don’t want to cut the cables instead of the grass, because that is one hazard you definitely want to avoid.

Electrical Manufacturers You Can Trust

To help you stay safe in the garden always make sure that all garden equipment is bought from trustworthy and well-known manufacturers. If you’re going to be using trimmers, make sure you’re wearing goggles and gloves. Never attempt to cut grass when it’s wet, or at least don’t use any appliances which require electricity.

Make sure you’re always wearing shoes and not sandals so your feet are covered, keep children well away from any appliances and unplug the lawn mower once you’re no longer using it.

Garden Ponds

Obviously, the risk of an accident with electricity is much higher near a pond, so be extra careful. Your water pumps should be correctly installed in order to prevent any nasty accidents and it should be of good quality, bought from a well-known manufacturer, protected by an RCD, with protected cables and in good condition.

VC Electrical – Premier Electricians Edinburgh

If you have any further questions regarding what we’ve discussed in this post, then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We’re here to help as well as provide a service, so if there’s anything you’re unsure of, be sure to give us a call, and one of our professional team members will be more than happy to advise and guide on this, or on any other matter of concern.

Electricians Tips: Energy Saving in the Home

Val Chisolm

If you’re looking to save money on utility bills, the place to start is looking for areas in your home where you can save energy. There are a number of things you can do, from reducing the amount of heating you use to keep your home warm, to improving the insulation of your property, and even using energy saving appliances. It’s just a matter of being clever with what you use in your home and how you use it.

Save Money, Help the Environment

Energy saving is a great to save money on your heating bills, but it’s not just about that, it really helps the environment too, by reducing CO2 emissions, so you’re doing something really worthwhile as well as saving energy in your home. Here at VC Electrical we’re all for saving energy and we’re always looking for energy saving tips we can pass on to our customers.

How can you save money on heating bills then, especially when we live in a time when energy bills are continuing to rise?

Start With the Lighting

If you buy energy saving light bulbs you could be using up to 80% less energy because one of these will produce the same amount of light as a more traditional 60w bulb, but only using between 13- 18watts of energy. You’ll find you not only save money you’ll save energy too.

Washing Machines

If you use a 30 degree wash you could save a whopping third of the energy you’d normally use when you wash your clothes at a much higher temperature.

Tumble Dryers

Use the washing line outside if you have one or a clothes horse, it’ll work out much cheaper than using a tumble dryer, ask yourself whether you really need one, it’s much better for the environment as well as saving you money.

Dishwashers

Use your dishwasher less by filling it up so you don’t have to use as many times. A full load will use the same amount of energy as half, so why use half loads when you could do it all in one go.

Kettles

Don’t boil a full kettle all the time and just boil the amount of water you need for the cups of tea or coffee you’re going to be making.

Don’t leave your electrical products constantly on stand-by. When you’re not using them switch them off and unplug them.

VC Electrical – Premier Electricians Edinburgh

If you need any more advice on how to save energy in your home and save on heating bills, then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We’re more than happy to help and one of our professional team will be able to talk to you about any areas of concern.

Keep in mind that here at VC Electrical all our members of our team are trained, qualified and experienced electricians, so if you need any electrical work done in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, then we’re the team to call!

Electrical Safety in the Home for the Elderly

Val Chisolm

As you can imagine, the elderly are extremely vulnerable and electrical accidents naturally pose a greater risk to them in many cases. Often, the homes of the elderly are in a state of disrepair and lack modern facilities. If they don’t meet certain safety standards, then the whole house can be a danger zone.

If an elderly person also has dementia, then the risk of an accident is even greater. You may be very concerned about someone in such a predicament, at home alone with dementia or even Parkinson’s disease, if this is the case then follow our tips to make you feel better about your elderly relative or friend’s safety.

Electrical Safety Tips

Check the fuse-box because this is what controls the electrical appliances and lights in the home. There should be a main switch and a fuse, it shouldn’t come with a wooden back or any iron switches. If it does, then you could do with getting an electrician to come and check it and possibly changing it to something more up-to-date and much safer.

Check RCDs, this known as Residual Current Device and it cuts power when there’s been an accident. It can help stop you from getting an electrical shock, which in some cases can kill. In order to check whether you have one, it’s a good idea to press the Test button. Pressing it will switch off the power. If the home in which you’re testing doesn’t have one of these should try using a plug-in RCD for all the sockets.

Plugs & Sockets – Any electrics over 50 years need to be updated because they may cause a present danger that could lead to an accident. Keep an eye out for braided flexes, round pin sockets, light fittings on the ceiling, sockets on skirting boards, if there are things like this then the whole house needs rewiring and updating.

Lighting fittings & Cables – Look out for overheating, discolouration and scorching. Where cables are concerned, they should be in good condition with no sign of splitting or cracking. There should be no cables lying in such a way that they cause someone to trip.

Smoke alarm – There should be working alarms in all properties and the batteries need to be changed annually. Your local Fire & Rescue Service should be able to fit one in in the home if you don’t already have one.

Priority Service Register – Elderly people can be added to a priority service register which their energy provider can add them to. This means that they have a tailored billing service as well as alternative cooking facilities should something go wrong, and the same goes for heating. That way they’re never without warmth or hot food.

Experienced Edinburgh Electricians

As we’ve already seen you need to undertake a full check of electrical wiring, sockets, fuses and apps if the property is old, and by that we mean 50 years or more. If you’re looking for a registered electrician, then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical.

Tenants and Landlords Electrical Safety Advice

Val Chisolm

If you live in rented property you’re at the mercy of the landlords and if they’re not up to the job of making sure you’re safe in terms of gas and electric, then you’re in trouble. You could be at risk of being involved in an accident at any time, so you need to make sure your landlords are doing everything they can to ensure your safety. In this post, we’re going to be looking at electrical safety advice, so it’s useful to a tenant and if you’re a landlord.

Grim Statistics on Electrical Accidents

The statistics are clear, as is the study from the Electrical Safety Council, and there are lots of reasons why landlords are putting themselves and their tenants at risk. From the landlord’s point of view, we’re talking financial risk, invalidated insurance and fines, because they haven’t acted on their obligations. From the tenant’s point of view, we’re looking at serious accidents.

It’s all too evident that some landlords are not listening to renters as the ESC study highlighted countless electrical concerns from renters which had been ignored.

A lack of understanding may play its part, that and burying your head in the sand, but something needs to be done. Often, landlords AND tenants weren’t entirely sure who exactly was responsible from electrical safety in the home.

Landlord Electrical Safety – They are Responsible

Landlords are responsible for your electrical safety and part of their job is to make sure electrical installations and any wiring are kept in a safe condition throughout your tenancy. They must also be checked every 5 years.

It’s important your landlords are aware of this and if you find they aren’t listening to your concerns then point out their responsibility to you as a tenant and if you don’t get a satisfactory response, report them.

As a tenant, you must maintain the electrical items that belong to you, that you bring into the house while renting, as this will help keep you safe. Don’t be complacent, be as proactive as you’d like your landlord to be.

The Electrical Safety Council – Help and Advice

The Electrical Safety Council has created a free guide for landlords which points out what their responsibilities lie when it comes to electrical safety. Because of the housing shortage and the austerity measures many more people are relying on rented housing, so it’s an imperative to ensure the electrical safety of tenants.

VC Electrical – Qualified and Registered Electricians Edinburgh

If you’re worried about the state of your electrical appliances and wiring, whether you’re a landlord or tenant get in touch with us here at VC Electrical, where one of our qualified, trained and registered electricians will be more than happy to help. 

What Types of Burglar Alarms are Available?

Val Chisolm

By making sure you have a reliable burglar alarm, you could save yourself money and distress of having your home broken into. Nobody wants to go through the stress of having to deal with a burglary, so by making sure your home is secure, this type of break in can be avoided.

Security Alarms – Wireless or Wired Burglar Alarms

You can have two types of burglar alarm, one is wireless and the other is wired. These two types of alarm have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you which one you feel is right for you.

Wireless Burglar Alarms

If you choose a wireless burglar alarm system, you’ll find that it’s very easy to install and remove, and this is good to know if you are thinking of moving from one property to another. Although it does work out cheaper for you to install yourself, the alarms aren’t necessarily cheap to buy.

Wired Burglar Alarms

If you decide to go with a wired burglar alarm system, you won’t be able to install this yourself. You will need a professional to install the alarm for you as it’s a much more complex process.

The wired alarm will have sensors that communicate with control panels, and this will need an expert to install, the wires are hidden, so it’s important that you have someone installing it that knows what they’re doing.

Burglar Alarm Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your burglar alarm could save you money and give you peace of mind. Of course if you have a contract, then it will be checked at least once a year and twice if it’s police monitored. There may be additional costs for this, but depending on the type of contract you have, there may be some call outs which are free.

The advantages of having your alarm maintained regularly could help deal with false alarms, and you may find that it’s required by your insurance company.

Burglar Alarm Monitoring

You can have your alarm monitored in one of 3 ways, either using a speech dialler, using a key-holder contract or a police contract.

With a speech dialler, when the alarm goes off a message via text or to a phone number of your choosing will be sent, a message can go to your family or direct to your mobile phone. The type of monitoring offered with a keyholder is usually via a company who will contact a nominated person, or sometimes respond themselves, depending on the services you’ve opted for.

Police monitored is exactly that, the police are contacted whenever your alarm goes off and this type of service is offered by some companies, so you need to check this out first before you commit, if this is the type of monitoring you want.

If you’re still in doubt as to which type of burglar alarm is best suited to your home, then why not get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We can talk you through the options and help you to make an informed decision. 

What are the Benefits of CCTV Cameras?

Val Chisolm

CCTV cameras act as a deterrent as well as helping you to capture footage of would-be criminals who venture on to your property. They can range from simple security systems to more sophisticated technology, and if you run a business, it's crucial you invest in some good quality CCTV equipment. Today in this post, we're going to be taking a look at the benefits of having CCTV cameras on your property and why its important.

Security Cameras Offer Security and Peace of Mind

It isn't just businesses that can reap the rewards of having CCTV cameras, if you live in an area where there's a high crime rate. It can give you peace of mind knowing that your home is enjoying a greater level of security.

Of course we have become accustomed to having CCTV cameras throughout our daily lives, including banks, airports and shopping malls. They certainly add a certain level of security that can make all the difference if you feel vulnerable.

Deter Criminals, Don't Invite Them

CCTV can act as a deterrent, because criminals are less likely to try their luck if they think they're being watched and recorded. They won't think it's worth the risk if they're going to be caught on camera and possibly be identified.

CCTV Cameras Reduce Fear

CCTV cameras can also reduce the level of fear because if people know they have them, then they're going to be able to go about their business in the knowledge they are being watched over in case of trouble, offering great peace of mind.

Prosecution, Apprehension, Conviction

CCTV cameras give criminals the threat, not only of detection, but of prosecution. If they know they can be recorded and identified, they can be prosecuted, and because they'll have been caught in the act, there's a greater chance of conviction.

This is enough to put would-be criminals off. If you are using cameras you'll find they can give you peace of mind round the clock 365 days of the year and 24 hours a day. 

Happy Staff, Happy Business

Your staff are going to be feeling a lot safer if you have a proper security system in place. What's more, more staff are going to want to come and work for you as well if they know they have a safe and secure environment to work in.

Your insurance is going to be a lot more affordable if you have a reliable CCTV system. If there's an accident on your property then there's a good chance that in our compensation culture someone may try to sue you. If you have a reliable CCTV security system then you will have been able to record exactly what's happened.

CCTV Cameras For Home Security

There's nothing better than the security of a home that's protected from burglars with CCTV. If you have a reliable CCTV camera system then you'll put off anybody thinking of breaking in, and if they still try, the police will find it much easier to apprehend, prosecute and convict someone if their actions have been recorded.

So there you have it, numerous reasons and clear benefits for having CCTV cameras in your home or at your place of business. If you have any questions then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical.

What is an EICR?

Val Chisolm

EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report and its a periodic electrical inspection of your property to make sure everything is working as it should. It examines all electrical installations, reporting any faults that need to be rectified. This report is governed by the British Standard 7671 and this must be adhered to while the inspection is being carried out.

When would you have an EICR carried out?

An EICR Report would carried out on an annual basis, usually on commercial and domestic properties with the goal of ensuring they're safe to use without causing a hazard. An EICR Report can only be carried out by a competently trained and experienced electrician. They must have plenty of experience in dealing with electrical installations and be in a position to give a knowledgable, clear and thorough report on their findings.

What do you need to know?

When the electrician carries out the EICR at your home, he/she will need to disconnect the electricity. This won't be for long, although of course it will depend on how big your property is. Electrical installations are switched off for safety reasons, so expect your electricity to be off for a short time while the checks are being carried out.

Why would you need an Electrical Installation Condition Report?

If you live in domestic property you probably won't need one as it's not statutory, although it is a good idea to have one, so you know everyone is safe when they use the electrical appliances. If you live in rented property, then you will have one on a yearly basis and if you're a landlord it's up to you to make sure this is carried out each year. If you don't and an accident occurs then you are personally liable.

Do you live in a building with multiple occupancy?

It is a statutory requirement to have an EICR if you live in a multiple occupancy property and the testing and report should be carried out once every 5 years. This would also apply if you own a hotel, restaurant or club. Also prisons and hospitals are included, and an EICR should be carried out regularly at these places. If you're premises have public access then any appliances and installation would need to be tested.

VC Electrical – Qualified and Trained to Carry Out Your EICRs

At VC Electrical we have a highly skilled team of qualified and trained electricians who carry out EICRs on a regular basis. We can test all your appliances and electrical installations and give you a clear, thorough report that will inform you of what's working properly and what isn't. The report should give you a clear indication of what repairs you need to carry out and what you need to do to rectify any faults.

Get in touch with us here at VC Electrical if you need an EICR carried out on your property. You'll always get a first class service from our team and we can explain anything you don't understand clearly so you understand exactly what's going on. 

Recycling Electrical Goods Guide

Val Chisolm

Once you've finished with an electrical appliance do you find yourself wondering how to dispose of it? It is a bit of a minefield, because you know it's probably not a good idea to put it in your bin as it will end up on a landfill site. That's not good. An electrical appliance decomposes on a landfill site over time, it can contaminate the soil and water.

What you may not know is that the parts that go into making an appliance could quite easily be used to make something else, so all of it's recyclable, and with that in mind, this week, we're going to talk about recycling electrical goods. Here at VC Electrical, we are all for recycling because we care about the environment and we encourage our customers to care about it too, and to dispose of their old appliances safely so they can be recycled.

Why recycle electrical items?

As we've already mentioned, once electrical appliances have been dumped on a landfill site in the traditional way you dispose of garbage, it can start to decompose. It can then contaminate the land and soil, and that's not good for the environment.

The materials that go into making an electrical appliance, such as steel and iron can go on to make other things, so all of it is recyclable. You can have peace of mind knowing that you're doing something really worthwhile in taking your electrical equipment to be recycled and doing your bit to help the environment.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE)

Do you know what the WEEE is? Well this is a European Directive that governs how we recycle electrical equipment. They monitor how much of electrical equipment is sent to landfill sites and work hard to stop this from happening. They also try to find better and simpler ways for you to recycle your old equipment.

Which old electrical goods can be recycled?

You'll find that most electrical items can be recycled if they have either a battery or a plug. This can include small items such as irons and toasters, and larger appliances such as freezers and dishwashers. Laptops, printers, fax machines and anything to do with IT can also be recycled. Electrical tools and anything you use on your hair such as hair-dryers, or in the bathroom such as electrical toothbrushes can be taken to a recycling centre.

As long as your item contains a plug or a battery, or charger and also carries a WEEE logo with a wheelie bin, (this will normally be a small picture of a wheelie bin with a cross on it) then it's good to go for recycling, and not the landfill site.

How do I recycle it? Where do I take it?

You can take your old electrical items to a recycling centre near you and you can get in touch with your local authority to find the nearest one to where you live. Technically, under this Directive (WEEE), all the retailers that sell you electrical goods should provide their customers with a place to dispose of old electrical items. This should either be a scheme where they take the equipment back off you or their own collection service. You should check this with the retailer who you buy your equipment from.

Get in touch with your council because they may already have started collecting recyclable goods from your home, so they might also have a service where they collect electrical items, it's worth asking about.

VC Electrical – Responsible Electricians Edinburgh

For any responsible electrician in Edinburgh it should be top of their priority to ensure all customers are aware of how to dispose of electrical items safely so they can be recycled.

Here at VC Electrical we make it our business as responsible electricians in Edinburgh to give advice to our customers on disposing of electrical equipment safely, and we always make sure we send all our old equipment and parts on for recycling once we're done with them.

If you have any questions you need answering on recycling electrical goods, then please get in touch, we'll be happy to help.