Your guide to electrical work in the garden

Posted 11/04/2017 by Macdonald Martin Ltd.

Categories: Uncategorised

Although electricity makes gardening much easier, wet conditions and contact with the ground means that the risk of injury or death from electric shock is much greater than the risk from using electrical equipment indoors.

By following some simple safety rules, whilst working with electricity in your garden, you can easily prevent life threatening accidents;

  • All outside sockets must be RCD protected for safety. An RCD (residual current device) works by switching off the flow of electricity when a cable or flex is cut. It is a potentially life-saving device that protects against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires. Without it a simple job like mowing the lawn could kill you.
  • Underground cables must be buried at a sufficient depth to avoid damage from garden tools. This will require an electrician to dig a trench in the garden
  • All cabling should be suitable for installation outside. A registered electrician can advise you on the suitable equipment
  • Any decorative lights, that are plugged into an outside socket, should be taken inside after use. As these lights are not designed to stay outside all year round

Purchase Good Quality Equipment

Purchasing good quality equipment is another way to reduce the risk of accidents. Always buy your outdoor lighting equipment from a reputable retailer and make sure the light fittings are weatherproof. Good quality equipment should always carry an IP rating, which indicates how well it withstands external conditions.

Don’t forget to look for the BEAB Approved Mark and the European Community (CE) safety symbol too.

How can I get my Garden checked for Electrical Safety?

Contacting your local NICEIC or ELECSA registered contractor and asking them to carry out an electrical inspection of the property, is the best way to ensure your outside electrics are running safely and smoothly. On completion of the inspection, you will receive an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) detailing any damage, defects, deterioration, dangerous conditions and anything not in line with the current safety standards which might give rise to danger.