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Electric shocker- UK's buildings may pose fire risk due to improper checks

M&E contractor ADI Mechanical says Tegg checks and Corgi-style regulation for the electrical industry would cut the number of UK buildings going up in smoke.
Electric shocker- UK
Every year, on average 4,000 electrical fires break out in Britain's commercial buildings. Some 75% of firms with major electrical fires never recover.

ADI Mechanical says in any building only 20% is tested for electrical safety. If an electrician can not reach it or it is not in their line of sight, boxes are left unticked on the assessment form. If the owner of the building signs it, he becomes criminally liable for failing to assess the building properly.

The firm owns two of the 13 Tegg franchises in the UK. Tegg, derived from the word integrity, is a system which measures the integrity of electrical installations. Tegg 'is the only system that we know in the world where the maintenance is undertaken while the installation is live' says ADI's managing director Alan Lusty.

ADI Mechanical says many fires occur in the distribution system, the building's electrical entry point. Because Tegg workers can test live with the aid of tools such as an ultra sound gun to measure noise and estimate electricity levels, the electric can be kept on to check untested areas such as the distribution system.

Tegg's live assessments would particularly suit hospitals which cannot close down their electrics for a check and banks which would not be interested in switching off their computers for 24 hours.

'When a fire brigade responds to a fire and can't tell what it is, they say its electrical. There isn't a tight regulation system for electrical safety like CORGI which ensures gas safety', said a spokesman for ADI Mechanical. Many people would be shocked if they knew how unsafe some buildings were because of improper electrical safety checks.

'We want to be the last line of defence where there's risks involved.'

The firm which bought its first franchise two years ago hopes Tegg will do for electrical installations what Corgi has done for gas.

Hospitals, schools and offices are just some of the buildings that would benefit from the three-in-one Tegg risk prevention deal being proposed by ADI Mechanical.

The firm has been in talks with UK insurance companies eager to limit risk and the national fire service college, to offer

1) fire college approved risk assessment 2) electrical testing courtesy of Tegg and 3) approved insurance via an insurance broker.

It hopes its three-in-one deal will be secured by the end of the year.

On October 9-10, the firm will meet with owners of the UK's 11 other franchises at the national fire service college as well as insurers and other interested parties. The event will include test demonstrations for invited guests.

To find out more about Tegg go to www.tegg.com
14 September 2007

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