As over 56,000 students receive their Leaving Cert results tomorrow, the NSAI is offering some important safety tips for those moving out of home for the first time. “Moving away from home is exciting. But certain appliances may be dangerous if not used carefully or correctly especially in confined areas next to others,” said Pat Bracken of NSAI. “That’s why the NSAI wants to help young people become standards smart and know what safety standards to look out for when buying products for their new homes,” he added.
Don’t Cut Class – or Corners
Only buy electrical products, such as laptops, kettles, toasters, or extension leads that display the CE Mark. The CE mark should be visible on the product itself or on its packaging. If it’s not there don’t buy it.
By law, all electrical products sold in Ireland must display the CE Mark, indicating the product has been tested and meets the EU legislation and safety standards. But unfortunately, due to counterfeiting, some fake CE Mark products may be on the market. Familiarise yourself with what a genuine CE Mark looks like, always buy products from reputable retailers and online outlets and remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. While you may think you’re saving a few bucks, electrical products that do not comply with standards could cost you your life. Never compromise on safety by buying fake products. Make sure the manufacturer’s name or trademark and contact information is also visible on the packaging.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, lethal gas and a carbon monoxide detector could save your life. In Ireland (unlike Britain) there is no requirement on a landlord to have a carbon monoxide alarm in a rented property.
NSAI is recommending if a carbon monoxide alarm is not in the property, the tenant should request one is installed, or purchase one yourself. Look for three quality marks when purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm; EN 50291, the CE-Mark symbol and end-of-life indicator. These symbols indicate the alarm has been tested and certified to the highest quality standards.
Pass the Test
- Test your smoke detectors once a week, by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
- Change the batteries once a year, unless it’s a ten year alarm and we would recommend you replace the whole unit every 10 years.
- There should be a minimum of two battery operated smoke detectors in a rented property, or mains wired smoke alarm (for multi-unit dwellings).
If you are using electrical appliances make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Don't leave items unattended while in use and keep flammable materials away from cooking and heating devices.
Don't get overloaded
When you're short on outlets, it may be tempting to have your laptop, phone, TV, hairdryer and gaming system all plugged into one cord, but that can overload the circuit and potentially cause a fire.
Make sure the extension cord is heavy enough for the intended load and that there are no loose connections. If a cord or plug becomes hot when it is plugged in, it may be overloaded and should be disconnected immediately.
Heat it up – safely
Electric blow heaters are a great way to heat a chilly room, but are not meant to dry clothes, warm your bed and be left unattended.
Misuse can lead to serious injuries, fatalities or fires. Place the heater where it cannot be knocked over, at least one metre from furniture and flammable materials such as curtains, bedding and paper. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and again, make sure it displays the CE Mark.
How #StandardsSmart are you?
- Take our CE Mark quiz