Outside power socket

Smart Tip 3: 5 Key Tips to Stay Safe in the Garden

5 Tips to Stay Safe In Your Garden

As we're getting out into the garden a reminder on how to safely use electricity outdoors is always useful.

Electricity can make gardening much easier but wet conditions and contact with the ground mean risks from electric shock are also greater than those indoors.

Electricity and water don’t mix, so whether it’s pouring from the heavens or just dew on the ground, don’t use electrical equipment outdoors until it is dry.

Following simple safety rules when you're in the garden can easily avoid a serious accident.

Top tips to help you stay safe

Electrical Fails - Melting plugs

Melting plugs and sheaths on wires happen more often than you might realise.

Poorly terminated wires explain some of them but more often it is due to DIY  installations combined with excessive loads being used on the socket.

The first melted plug was connected via a long extension to an outbuiding where the small Consumer unit pitcured was wired directly to it. Multiple freezers were running from it. This really was a fire waiting to happen.

The outdoor socket in the third image shows the sheath melting from the temperatures being reached in the copper cable. The sockets were being used to power extension leads running various outdoor heaters. Again luck was all that had prevented a fire.

Look at the socket calculator here to check whether you're over stressing your cabling and sockets.

Melted plug found to be feeding a circuit board with multiple freezers
The consumer unit fed from a plug
An outside socket with melted sheathing from excess load

Electrical Fails - Outdoor Power

We were told that the lighting for the garden hadn't worked for a long time and the pump for a similar time. Can we take a look.

This is what we found shortly after arriving - granted it was under a car port which was watertight but still...

An indoor fused control unit (FCU) with SWA - the thick black cable - which had been terminated but was hanging from the terminations in the FCU. Various other electrical connections had been attempted unsuccessfully.

Everything was taken out and made safe to be re-installed properly at a later date. 

Electrical fail - Outdoor FCU to lighting and pond pump