Second hand …. are you sure ?

When buying second-hand electrical items everyone should be aware that an item could be unsafe and may produce an electric shock which could in some cases be deadly, while other risks include electrical burns, minor shocks or a fire could be started in the home.

The most common cause for an electric shock is when a person comes into contact with frayed wires or loose connections. Special attention should, therefore, be given to handheld items, such as irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners, as most people wrap the electrical cables around the body of the item.

Another problem encountered with second-hand power tools and household machinery is that in most cases they do not come with the original written instructions, warnings and directions that came when bought new.

A key issue here is that a consumer will buy a second-hand item, such as a hedge-strimmer or drill, without the instructions and then “guess” how it should be used. There may have been a warning about overloading the equipment, using additional protective equipment, specific earthing requirements or details about obstructing vents which may cause overheating. Some products may also be unsafe due to a lack of maintenance or servicing requirements.

If you are thinking about buying second hand electrical items then you should always examine them closely looking for any visible faults (frayed wires, cracked casings, ect) and if possible have the item PAT tested BEFORE USING.


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