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Identifying Danger

Orange Tree Electrical are working hard to raise the awareness of electrical safety in your home and where you work. In order to help people identify some of the basic electrical dangers we have produced this guide so anyone can undertake a simple, risk free visual inspection of their electrical systems.

Get the right tools for the job!

All you need is a pen and paper! Write down all your findings, good or bad, this record sheet can then be used to organise remedial work and be saved for future reference or to compare signs of degradation. It is important to remember this is a visual inspection only, do not remove any covers or use a tool to gain access into to any equipment. If in doubt seek qualified advice.

The environment

Often the greatest contributing factor to damage, wear and tear on an electrical system. Take a good look at every item of electrical equipment, appliance, switch, light, socket, cable etc and compare it to the environment in which it is installed. Does it look like it belongs? Is a basic plastic accessory being used in an industrial application where a metal accessory should be used? Check also for visible signs of ingress of moisture, dirt, or dust and any evidence of corrosion. All these would indicate that the item is not suitable for its environment.

Damage, Deterioration, Wear and Tear

Check every item is securely fixed and no cover screws or fixings are missing. Ensure equipment is free from damage, holes, deterioration or signs of aging. Damaged equipment or newly installed equipment showing rapid signs of aging may indicate that an item is not suitable for its environment.


A simple check to make sure everything is working correctly. Operate all switches, sockets, fused connection units, RCD test buttons, isolators and even switchgear if practical. Damaged equipment should always be replaced when possible.

RCD Protection

The requirements for RCD’S have increased considerable in recent years. It is now recommended that most socket outlets have RCD protection and it is essential for sockets near external doors which could be used to supply equipment outside. Check all sockets have RCD protection especially ones located near external doors.

Identification and Labelling

All equipment must be clearly identified to allow safe usage and isolation, make sure all circuit breakers, fuses and isolators are clearly identified and labelled. Check in distribution boards for accurate and up-to-date circuit charts.

Safe Isolation and Safe Access

All electrical equipment must have a safe means of isolation in case of emergency and for mechanical maintenance, check all machines and electrical equipment are supplied via suitable isolators or switches. All distribution boards, isolators and switchgear must be un-obstructed and provided with adequate lighting in case of emergency.

What Lies Beneath?

Once you have completed the visual inspection of the electrical system you will have a better understanding of its suitability and state of repair. If your inspection raises any doubts you should always seek expert advice.

This type of visual inspection is not a substitute for formal routine periodic electrical inspection and testing. It can however be described as a ‘routine check’ which is recognised by BS7671 and should be undertaken annually between formal inspection and tests.

If you need free and expert advice please call Orange Tree Electrical on
01977 624 366 or get in touch via our contact page.