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Make sure your appliances are safe! Make sure they are TESTED!
For the convenience of users, appliance manufacturers have standardised on two plug fuse ratings- 3A & 13A and adopted appropriate flex sizes. For appliances up to 700W a 3A fuse is used, for those over 700W a 13A fuse is used.
The fuse in the plug is not fitted to protect the appliance, although in practice it often does this. Appliances are generally designed to European standards for use throughout Europe. In most countries the plug is not fused. If an appliance needs a fuse to comply with the standard it must be fitted within the appliance. The fuse in the plug protects against faults in the flex and can allow the use of a reduced csa flexible cable. This is advantageous for such appliances as electric blankets, soldering irons and Christmas tree lights, where the flexibility of a small flexible cable is desirable.
Electricity can kill! Each year about 1000 accidents at work involving electric shock or burns are reported to the Health and Safety Executive. About 15 of these are fatal.
The IEE Code of Practice recognises four test situations.
1. Type Testing to an appropriate standard
2. Production testing
3. In-Service testing
4. Testing after repair
This document is limited in covering topics concerned with In Service Testing only.
This is the testing carried out as a routine to determine whether the equipment is in a satisfactory condition.
In-Service testing will involve the following.
(a) Preliminary inspection
(b) Earth continuity tests (for Class 1 equipment)
(c) Insulation testing (Which may sometimes be substituted by earth leakage measurement)
(d) Functional checks.
Electrical testing should be performed by a person who is competent in the safe use of the test equipment and who knows how to interpret the test results obtained. This person must be capable of inspecting the equipment and, where necessary, dismantling it to check the cable connections.
If equipment is permanently connected to the fixed installation, e.g. by a flex outlet or other accessory, the accessory will need to be detached from its box or enclosure so that the connections can be inspected. Such work should only be carried out by a competent person.
Faulty electrical appliances and leads are the
main cause of accidental fires in commercial buildings, representing over a quarter of all such fires.