|Garden Electrics | Outdoor Electrics | Outdoor electrical safety|
This page is intended to help you to use electrical equipment safely in the garden and avoid electrical accidents. The risk of an electric shock causing serious injury or death, is greater outdoors than indoors, due to possible wet conditions and physical contact with the ground.
An RCD is a safety device that switches off the electricity automatically when it detects an earth fault. Any socket-outlet that may be used for plugging in portable electrical equipment that is to be used outdoors, should have RCD protection.
Check that you are protected by an RCD with a maximum rated residual operating current of 30 milliamperes (mA). If your socket-outlet is not protected by an RCD, purchase a good quality plug-in RCD adaptor from a reputable dealer, as a temporary measure. The safest option is to get a registered installer to install permanent RCD protection to all socket-outlets that may be used for plugging in 230 V outdoor portable electrical equipment.
RCDs need to be tested quarterly by the users of the electrical installation, in accordance with the notice that should be fixed near them. This normally involves pressing the test button and checking that the RCD switches off the supply immediately. Regular testing is important, to ensure correct operation of the RCD mechanism in the event of a fault.
Electric lawn mowers can cut through their own electric cables or those of other electric garden tools, causing a real risk of electric shock. There is also a risk of injury from contact with moving parts of the mower.
Electric hedge trimmers can cut through their own electric cables or those of other electric garden tools, causing the risk of electric shock. They may also injure anyone making contact with the blades.
Incorrectly installed or damaged 230 V electrical water pumps in garden ponds, may create a serious electric shock risk in and around the pond, resulting in injury or death. This is because the risk of electric shock is higher in the presence of water.
A 230 V electric water pump in the garden should be:
If any defects are found, switch off the water pump's electrical supply immediately and have the pump repaired by a competent electrician.
Flexible cables and connectors
Cables and connections should be:
Unwinding extension cable from the reel
When in use, extension cables that are coiled up on a reel can overheat, causing damage to the cable, which may in extreme cases result in fire. Such extreme damage may also introduce a risk of electric shock, which could cause injury or prove to be fatal.
A fully unwound cable reduces the risk of it overheating, thereby minimizing the risks of fire or electric shock.
Do not use electrical equipment when it is raining or in areas that are being watered. The risk of serious injury and even death from electric shock, are far higher in wet conditions, than in the dry. Ground conditions may also be slippery in the wet, which increases the risk of an accident. Electrical equipment may also suffer damage in wet conditions.
Garden lightingIncorrectly selected, installed or damaged 230 V outdoor lighting installations may create a risk of electric shock, resulting in serious injury or even death.
For 230 V lighting in the garden:
If any faults are found, switch off the electrical supply immediately, and have them repaired. If you have any concerns or would like some advice please let us know via the contact form.