Inefficient or decaying electrical networks are dangerous fire hazards, says Anne Porter Knight Frank MD

It can take a whole house burning down to make people realise how important it is to check regularly their home’s electrical network, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

Electrical faults, she said, are probably the most common cause of fires in domestic buildings.

“Whenever a house is sold,” said Steward, “it has to have an Electrical Certificate of Compliance which has to be drawn up and signed by a certified electrician. All too often, we find that when these electrical checks are made they reveal that the system has decayed badly in one or more areas. This presents a potential risk to the house and its occupants.”

Steward said that she would advise all homeowners to get a complete electrical check at least once every four to five years and this should be done by a qualified electrician, preferably one able to issue an Electrical Certificate of Compliance once he has brought the network up to a serviceable level.

One of the most common faults, said Steward, is to have an earthing system that has become inefficient because the earth pole or the wiring leading to it have corroded.

Owners of thatched roofed premises, added Steward, should install lighting conductors, because, with electrical storms on the increase, thatched roofs are more of a risk than they were previously.

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