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ME PAT Newsletter - April 2015

  • Posted on: 23 April 2015
  • By: Mike
Hello All, a warm welcome (especially as the weather is fantastic for April) to all of our new and loyal clients, my many network friends, all those I have had the fortune to meet in my travels whilst promoting the good work we do through ME PAT Services, and indeed those who have been introduced to this “occasional” newsletter. I offer a genuine and sincere thank you for continuing to receive this; I hope an interesting and a less fearful look at the world of Electrical Health and Safety - not normally renowned for its humour and some say why it should be as it’s a very serious subject! Well let’s hope I help to take the edge off the seriousness but at the same time getting the message over that electricity does kill!!

A spring Tyne pic from the Staith’s in Gateshead
This month’s newsletter from ME PAT Services mainly featuring stories to do with Portable Appliance Testing will highlight the dangers of unattended dryers, a couple of stories to do with the increasing attention on the lease/let housing market, a couple of "silly" health and safety (apparently?) gone mad.. Finally, as the Americans would say "a curved ball", with the latest on my lifetime ambition to write and launch a book on my home town of Newcastle upon Tyne!

Now without a further ado, on with the stories....

Tumble dryer fault leads to fire warning
A building fire in Colwyn Bay has prompted a warning from fire officers about the dangers of unsafe electrical appliances. The North Wales fire and rescue service attended a fire caused by an electrical fault in a tumble dryer in the garage of a property.

Gwyn Jones, community safety manager, said: “Once again this incident demonstrates the importance of using electrical items correctly, and operating them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

"Always check electrical items and leads for signs of damage or wear do not use old or dangerous electrical items and never overload sockets, as this substantially increases the risk of a serious fire. “We attend around 470 accidental fires in dwellings each year and electricity or electrical items are responsible for over 300 of these fires.
MMc: Now, the story above came from our “usual sources” for articles from the PAT testing industry but this story is doubly the interest in not only is it a worrying tale but that we too came across something similar a few years ago. We were working with a local “working” farm/café/supplier of farm produce that had a dryer for their own workers. When testing was carried out throughout the offices, factory etc. we came to the staff room to find that the plug could not be removed from the wall socket as it had literary “melted” with the intense heat to the socket!! Not only does this give a frightening illustration of the sort of heat build-up there is if not properly maintained, but also that not only did we condemn the tumble dryer but an electrician had to be called out to dismantle the socket!! Very scary, and very expensive….

However there is actually some good news.....

Fewer fires in Scottish homes

Electrical Safety First is delighted that the number of fires in Scottish homes has fallen – but the Charity warns that there is still much to be done to keep people safe around electricity. According to figures from the Scottish Government, the number of domestic fires in Scotland decreased by 9% during 2014, representing a fall from 5,834 in 2013 to 5,330 fires.

However, the total number of fires in Scotland – including those occurring outdoors and in commercial premises, as well as those considered ‘non-accidental’ – has grown. “Around two thirds of all domestic fires in Scotland are caused by electricity, with electrical products the prime culprit” explains Emma Apter, Head of Communications at Electrical Safety First. “Given the issue in Scotland with fake and substandard goods – since 2010, Glasgow’s enforcement agencies, for example, have seized almost 10,000 fake electrical items, more than any other UK Local Authority – we can’t afford to become complacent about fires in the home.”

Electrical Safety First was instrumental in ensuring that the recent Scottish Housing Bill included a requirement for regular electrical safety checks in all privately rented accommodation. Details at

and finally….

Newcastle Old and New: the story so far?

The Year of the Book, “My Book!”
2015 as I have mentioned before will be, for me anyway, the year of my book a very personal project entitled "Newcastle Old and New: The Story So Far", a rewrite of a “book” from school almost 40 years ago. A time where dyslexia robbed me of education (in fact an age where dyslexia didn't have a name and I had bruises from the occasional demonstration of how "stupid" I was a school), so this "book" was all I had from a failed education.

Anyway moving on I have booked a room at the Newcastle Central Library on the 14thof October 2015. Times to be confirmed, but needless to say that after all these years it will be a personal triumph to launch the book.
I am making my way through the first proof read and later this month we will be assembling the revised chapters with the fresh and new postscripts. We are talking to publishers, but as the cost is higher than expected I am considering looking at crowd funding and possibly pre-ordering of copies - this I'll hopefully talk about in our next newsletter.  Those who are interested in finding out more you can contact via email or direct on my mobile on 07865 923716.

Incidentally, If anyone would be willing to let me do a talk about a subject for which I am so passionate about then please let me know, incidentally the talks are not all about the places in and around Newcastle, it’s also about the traumatic journey to get to where I am today, and quite a journey at that!!

  Ta ta for now, Have a great day, week and month!!

  Yours Mike and Alison McCoy
  ME PAT Services Ltd
  07865 923716