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RCD: Do not let your next shock be your last

We’ve all received a little electric shock at some point in our lives, actually about 2.5 million of us a year. But according to the Electrical Safety Council up to 350,000 people a year end up with serious injuries from electric shocks; a frightening number.  Luckily there is a smart little device that is here to save us: the RCD, Residual Current Device.

What is an RCD?

A Residual Current Device (RCD) is one of the most important things a safe home can have.  If there is an irregular or dangerous flow of electricity to earth from an electric power outlet, an RCD would automatically turn off the electricity in .4 of a second, ensuring that any chances of an electrical fire or serious shock are eliminated.

An RCD should be considered as important as a smoke alarm. It can be difficult to tell when an abnormal flow of electricity is running through your plug sockets or light switches and it’s likely the only way you will find out about it is when you have received an electric shock or the fuse in your laptop charger has blown.

What does an RCD look like?

RCD: Residual Current Device

Why am I getting electric shocks?

  1. No RCD in your home
  2. Misuse of plug sockets
  3. The wiring and outlets in your home aren’t earthed

If your home uses plug adapters that allow the use of multiple appliances at once through one socket, then an RCD is an essential bit of kit to protect you if the earth connection melted.  Adapters that create space for numerous appliances are convenient and although they can work effectively, they aren’t necessarily efficient. It’s suggested by the Electrical Safety Council that you should never use more than 13 amps or 3000 watts of energy through one power outlet and this amount can easily be accumulated through the use of these plug adapters. The best answer is to get more sockets installed or unplug some of the equipment you aren't using.

RCD: Know the limit for plugs

Signs you need an RCD

  1. You’ve received an electric shock
  2. Fuses are blowing in electrical appliances
  3. Wiring is getting old abd the connections have deteriorated

The majority of houses that were built between 1950 – 1980 have copper wiring that can get very hot if connections are not checked. This coupled with the misuse of appliances through adaptors and extensions leads can result in serious accidents.

The main cause of electrical fires in the home can be accredited to the misuse of equipment and appliances. 49% of homes in the UK do not have RCDs that are fully operational.

What’s to do if you don’t have an RCD?

If your home doesn’t currently have an RCD you can simply send Affleck a picture of your fuse board via email and our head electrician Andy Symes will contact you with an instalment quote over the phone.

If you are worried about your electrical safety, this February we are offering a free electrical survey for more information call 0207 971 7000 to arrange an appointment.