What is DLExpo 2017?
DLExpo 2017 is where businesses from Darlington and the local area can get together. It’s like a wedding fair, but without the string quartet repeatedly playing Jason Mraz. In my book, that makes it a whole lot more fun!
I’ve attended DLExpo as a visitor for the last two years and always noticed how friendly and relaxed the exhibitors were. This year I thought I’d join them, for several reasons:
- As PAT testers, we’ve noticed a slip in electrical safety standards over the last twelve months
- We want to raise awareness of user checks
- Educate people about the importance of checking their appliances
- To promote electrical safety in our local area
- It sounds like fun and there’s a chance of a free bacon sandwich!
What do user checks have to do with DLExpo?
User checks are important for anyone who works uses any electrical appliance. The clue’s in the name – they’re supposed to be carried out by the user.
They’re especially important for anyone exhibiting at DLExpo, or at any business event. They’re the first step in checking that your appliances are safe to use – be it your laptop, phone charger, or any other tool you may use. The last thing you want is to turn up to give your presentation, and find that you can’t charge your laptop because the power lead isn’t safe.
Carrying out the basic user checks a couple of weeks in advance gives you time to spot many potential issues and order replacement equipment if necessary. You should be doing them on a regular basis anyhow, and particularly in the run-up to events like DLExpo.
Why are user checks important?
The basic user checks are important because they can help to prevent dangerous issues arising. There are around 1000 workplace accidents and 30 fatalities reported to HSE every year due to electricity. Faulty appliances and leads are the most common cause of accidental fires in non-residential dwellings, with an average loss per incident of over £51,000.
The initial visual inspection picks up around two thirds of PAT testing failures, according to an industry expert. We estimate that around half of these dangerous items could be detected by carrying out a simple user check, considering the following:
- Do you know of a fault with the appliance?
- Are there any signs of damage on the plug?
- Can you see any damage on the cable?
- Is there any sign of damage on the appliance itself?
- Is there a cardboard cover on the plug?
- Does the plug rattle?
- Is the cable secure in the plug/appliance?
- Is the appliance suitable for its environment?
- In your experience of using it, do you have any concerns?
You can obviously fix some of these yourself – for example removing the cardboard cover from a plug. Some of these would not even necessarily mean an appliance would fail a PAT test. If it turns out that the plug rattles because there is a loose screw or a tiny piece of stray plastic in it, we’d simply rectify and move on. But these are warning signs and should be checked and rectified before an item can be declared safe to use.
How do I get a free bacon sandwich?
The lovely people over at Endeavour Law are sponsoring The Big Breakfast, a free networking event before the Expo starts. Just register via the above link and come along to meet people from other businesses!
Coming to DLExpo 2017?
Look us up! I’ve seen a few people with PAT testing businesses at expos in the past and the stands are always really boring. So I’m giving you the chance to try out what I do. Hopefully by the time you leave, you’ll be able to feel a counterfeit charger or spot a dangerous power lead. You’ll also see some of the seemingly innocuous items that can be easily picked up, but are actually dangerous and often overlooked.
And I’m offering a free prize draw, so you might even get a bacon sandwich and a bottle of fizz out of the trip!
If you want to book a visit, have a look on the DLExpo website, and I look forward to seeing you there.