Hand Sanitisers are mostly Alcohol based and are used in the fight to comat COVID-!9 and other viruses however they are also are highly flamable.
Employers and Self Employed Electricians alike should tread caution when using alchol based hand sanitisers whilst working near sparks and naked flames.
Used in the wrong working conditions these products can cause catastrophic effects.
Health and safety experts at CE Safety are alerting workers up and down the country of the potential fire risk of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Workers working with Gas and Electrics should be up to speed with training and the risks involved with hand gels, especially when we hear that there was one employee who used alcohol based gel and had been unfortunate enough to come into contact with a static spark, which ignited and gave him second-degree burns on his hands.
Alcohol based hand sanitisers are highly effective at killing germs and are used worldwide by everyday people. However the dangers of hand sanitisers near naked flames whilst cooking even should also be a hazard warning to be extremely careful.
However the strengths of some of these liquids can range from flammable, to highly flammable, to extremely flammable and it could pose a fire risk not only through direct contact but also by the vapour that they emit which could easily ignite.
Working environments that involve open flames/heat sources, flying sparks or anything of that nature, pose a constant risk to fire safety and personal health and safety. Vapours react at their “flashpoint” and then can ignite in normal air conditions.
A CE Safety official said: “Any person who carries out hot works – such as welding, soldering, grinding, cutting, burning or any other process that produces sparks – should, as a rule, use a hand-sanitising solution that is completely free of alcohol, due to the risk factors”.
A person can minimise the risks by washing their hand throughly using soap and water and can use alternative hand sanitisers to combat hand sanitisation on the go.
***Remember to read labels carefully just incase there are other flamable ingredients.
When applying alcoholic based hand sanitisers a person must wait until the liquid has fully evaporated on their skin (i.e. their hands are completely dry) before they begin or resume work – especially when working next to naked flames or in any other environments that pose static-charge risk.”
Pat Testing Electrical Inspection & Testing is an important service that should be executed in all commercial buildings and rented residential properties by landlords. This ensures all appliances are safe to use and it makes common sense to make sure your property is met by the highest standards.
LANDLORDS AND RENTED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 It is not a legal requirement, but there is an act ‘The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985’ which requires that all electrical installation within a rented property is safe when a tenancy begins and is maintained to a safe standard.
What action is required? The act recommends that all the appliances supplied in a property after 1st January 1997 must be marked with the appropriate CE symbol.
Safety – all electrical appliances must be safe. This applies to items of both alternate and direct current which means the Landlord will have to ensure that such appliances as kettles, toasters, irons and television sets are safe as well as fixed appliances such as electric cookers and immersion heaters. Safety includes the lead of the appliance, as an example washing machines and cookers must be hardwired by a qualified electrician.
Instruction books – manufacturer’s instruction manuals should be provided for each appliance supplied at the premises. The instructions can either be shown on the appliance, or an instruction book can be supplied. This will help to ensure the safety of the tenant.
There are numerous regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are ‘supplying in the course of business’. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – ‘Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets.
Although with tenanted property there is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of all HMOs) it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your ‘duty of care’, is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
The Government has confirmed that an extension to mandatory licensing will come into force from 1st October 2018. Under these new rules, what an HMO (House in Multiple Occupancy) is defined as under the Housing Act 2004 will change; meaning that some electrical obligations for landlords will change.
Definition of HMO.
House with Multiple Occupants such as a block of flats or a terraced house converted into flats.
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties (except HMOs), it is generally considered that the common law ‘duty of care’ means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each floor (in the hall and landing areas).
Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
The same duty is shown in numerous laws passed over the last 30 years. None of these state that PAT Testing is a strict legal requirement – but it is the most sensible option when you consider:The Health & Safety Executive recommends PAT Testing as the most reliable way to fulfil your duty of care
It is recommended to do a Pat Test by a qualified electrician as tests carried out by your own staff can be queried in the event of an accident. Without a certificate, your case might be difficult to prove and your insurance can become null and void. Many insurance companies require a PAT certificate before providing cover for commercial premises or building insurance for landlords.
Employers have a duty of care
It is the duty of an employer who should make suitable and sufficient assessments of the risks to the health and safety of the workplace and his/her employees as well as members of the public that may enter his/her premises. Public liability insurance can be made void if it is found that you did not take care or attention if a fire broke out or if someone was injured due to non compliance of safety checks.
A qualified electrician can discover falults and effectively check an electrical appliance & find out if it’s safe or not. If your electrical devices in the business premises aren’t safe, you’re violating legal regulations and the appliances and devices may become condemmed, which if the continuation of use may cause legal implications to you and your business.
By inspecting the quality & condition of your electrical devices on a regular basis in the place of work and also in HMO rented accomodation, you can assure that they function more sustainable & get the repairs or replacement done effectively. It is a well known fact that defective electrical appliances can increase your electricity bills. Defectives appliances need a lot more power to function.
Decrease the risk of electrical fires:
The danger of defective devices and appliances can cause fatalities and by doing a Pat test regularly you not only decrease the situation where people may get wounded, maimed or killed in the business premises or in a HMO rented accomodation, but it also decreases the jeopardy of electricity damaging your commercial property.
It is reported that 5,300 fires are caused every year because of defective electrical devices (remember Grenfell tower block in London). You can read stories in the news regarding destructive home fire being prompted defective appliances. Companies selling cheap gadgets are at also at fault when they produce low quality dangerous merchandise which imported from China and then sold on the UK open market. Inferior products can be a fire hazard and one should not comprise life of one self or others.
Any electrical appliance or device that is faulty has the potential of causing an electrical fire. This encompasses microwaves, fridges, chargers, kettles and toasters, heaters etc. We can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you have your appliance inventory inspected properly by a qualified electrician on a regular basis.
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