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Neil Hamilton AM urges constituents to be ‘Electrical Safety Aware’

NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales is urging his constituents to be electrical aware while working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, is backing leading consumer charity, Electrical Safety First who want to raise awareness of the safe use of electricity during the outbreak.

He has joined with the charity, who conducted research across Wales into the dangers to which remote workers in Mid & West Wales may be unknowingly exposing themselves

He said:

“As huge numbers of people in Mid & West Wales continue to work at home and adapt to a new routine, many may be putting themselves at unnecessary risk due to unsafe electrical arrangements at home.

“With so many people home working and self-isolating this increases the chances of the unsafe use of electricity. So, I’ve joined with the charity, Electrical Safety First, to help them raise awareness of easy steps you can take seriously to reduce the risk to you and others in your home.

“Remember to check electrical appliances. In particular, do NOT overload sockets and NEVER use faulty items or faulty white goods. Extension leads can only handle so much power so, if plug in too many things, the chances are they will be overloaded and create a fire risk. Faulty goods can also be a safety issue so if your washing machine or tumble dryer starts playing up – stop using it and get it checked immediately.”

With increased use of electrical equipment in many homes such as work laptops, tablets, phones and heaters, a new survey by the Charity has found more than two thirds of those in Wales currently working from home are using extension leads or adaptors with the electronic device they’re working on and almost half of them have more appliances plugged into one than they usually would.

Worryingly, almost a third are either unaware of the risks of overloading plug sockets or how to check whether they’re doing so. By using extension leads and adaptors to plug additional devices into a socket, there is a danger that they could be overloaded, creating a fire risk.

Even more concerning is the fact that over half of those in Wales currently working from home using extension leads or adapters as part of their setup who admit to ‘daisy-chaining’ them together. This involves plugging one extension into another in order to reach further or plug more appliances in, and is advised against in all circumstances.

Electrical Safety First is recommending those working from home take advantage of the Charity’s Socket Overload Calculator to check they’re not plugging too many appliances in at once, and to pay extra attention to their electrical safety during their period of remote working.

Robert Jervis-Gibbons, Public Affairs Manager at Electrical Safety First, commented: “We are really grateful to Neil Hamilton AM for joining with us to raise awareness of the safe use of electricity when working from home. With more than three quarters of those in Wales who are currently working from home doing so for the first time due to COVID-19, it’s unsurprising that not everyone will have had a chance to ensure their work stations are free from electrical hazards.

“Take a few minutes to make sure you’re not daisy-chaining extension leads or overloading your plug sockets and that you are charging your devices on hard, non-flammable surfaces. We should all pay extra attention to electrical safety during our period of remote working. For more detail as well as some helpful tools, head to www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk ”

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