If you think electrical safety tagging is a little bit over the top, or unnecessary, you need to consider the facts.
It is a fact that there is a housing crisis in NZ. People do not have access to properly insulated buildings. This has contributed to the increase in portable heater sales throughout the nation.
According to retail data, there has been a steady increase of heater sales when compared with the previous year. The problem is, many people purchase heaters and forget about them. They are used incorrectly, can be subject to wear and tear over time, or they have been recalled because of a fault.
According to Peter Wilding, national manager of fire investigation and arson reduction, up to 80% of recalled heaters are still in use in homes and businesses across New Zealand. “You can get 50,000 items sold quite quickly in a country our size, so to only recover 20%… that’s a lot of faulty products that are still out there,” said Wilding.
To stay safe over the winter season, you need to have an electrical safety tagging plan. The first part of your safety plan should be to go on to the Product Recalls website and make sure your heater is safe to use. If your heater is on the list, follow the instructions on the recall listing and contact the manufacturer. Do not continue to use a recalled heater.
In the past year, there have been 105 heater fires in New Zealand. In fact, Fire and Emergency NZ are recruiting more and more people to cope with the heavy demand. The two career stations in Invercargill respond to an average of 667 callouts per year.
At Jim’s Test & Tag, we work in electrical testing and tagging as well as fire safety to help keep homes and workplaces safe. We don’t want you or someone you know to become part of the statistics.
Unfortunately, a lot of product recalls are only issued after something goes wrong. You won’t always know if your heater is faulty before it is too late. The second part of your safety plan is to invest in regular inspection services.
Our technicians work according to local test and tag regulations to give you the safest possible environment. Your heaters (and other portable devices) need electrical safety tagging so that if an issue is present, it can be caught in advance. We can help to detect problems that can result in electrical shock and fire.
It is of course, still important to monitor recall announcements for any further developments.
After we have conducted our tests, you will receive a detailed report for your own records. This will help with proof of compliance in a working environment.
If you have any questions about the electrical testing and tagging frequency requirements for your environment, call us now.
Heater Safety Tips
After you have invested in our electrical safety tagging services, take a look at the following extra tips you can follow to make sure your portable heater usage is safe.
- plug your heater into the wall socket
- if you have to use an extension cord or power board, make sure it’s currency rating matches your heater to stop it from overheating the circuit
- do not use your heater when no-one is home
- keep flammable items away from your heater
- make sure plugs and cords are out of the way and not a tripping hazard
- read the manufacturer instructions and warning labels
- unplug your heater when it is not in use
Stay safe over the winter and make sure you share this article with your friends and family.