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Plug the gaps.

WHAT a relief to see an article in the GDN announcing the GCC campaign to outlaw potentially deadly faulty electrical appliances and fixtures.

Of course, the majority of deaths and injuries caused by electricity are generally not caused by faulty appliances as much as faulty installation.

We're not done any favours when we go to the store and buy an appliance. We go home unpack it and immediately find that the plug is of the German or French 2 pin persuasion, but the socket on the wall is the UK 3 pin standard.

This means we then start wedging screwdrivers into the socket so we can force the electrical round peg into the square hole. This starts to go pear-shaped when we start poking around in the live or neutral, instead of the earth.

Quite simply - all electrical appliances should be sold with power leads with UK 3 pin plugs already attached.

A few years ago the hairs on the back of my hand saved me from being electrocuted while changing a light fitting because the light switch had been incorrectly wired.

I would suggest that the quality of the appliances is not the real problem. What I would hope the campaign would focus on is the skill level of the electricians who instal the appliances.

As long as we have power tool leads jammed into sockets using matchsticks, every appliance fed through a 13 amp fuse and so-called electricians who are out of their depth changing the batteries in a torch, we will continue to read about members of the public being killed in these so called tragic "accidents".

I once had a plumber come to my house to fix a leaky tap. A month later the same individual arrived to fix an electrical problem, declaring he had been "promoted".

I may have been a little more comfortable with this had he not been carrying the same tools.

Alec Trickle

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jul 13, 2008
Words:336
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