Avoid a dangerous shock in your garden this Easter Holiday weekend Image supplied by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Over a quarter of Brits had never heard of an RCD

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is advising everyone using electrical equipment in their gardens to ensure they are using a circuit breaker (or Residual Current Device (RCD)).

A circuit breaker or RCD is designed to prevent the user from getting a fatal electric shock if they touch something live, such as a bare wire, which can happen if an electrical cable is cut.

More than half the population use electrical devices in their gardens. However, over a quarter of them had never heard of an RCD. Of those who had, one in six said that they didn’t always use one when using electrical equipment outside.

RCD protection can be built into your fuse box or sockets. If you do not have built in protection, a plug-in RCD should be used with any kind of electrical equipment such as lawn mowers and hedge trimmers.

Pete Buckingham, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Safety Team Manager said:

“One in ten people have experienced an electric shock or accident caused while using an electrical appliance in their garden.

“The top cause is cutting through the cable of a lawnmower, something that can cause a severe electric shock or even kill if there is no RCD protection.

“But research by Electrical Safety First shows that over a quarter of Brits don’t know what a circuit breaker or RCD is.”

Gardens used as a living space

As gardens become an additional living space, more people are using electrical equipment outside. Almost one in ten people with gardens said that they used mains powered entertainment systems, like speakers, outside.

One in seven Brits have outdoor lighting in their gardens; while one in forty have a Jacuzzi, hot tub or heated pool. With any of these electrical items a working RCD could prevent a fatal accident.

Pete Buckingham said:

“A plug-in RCD can cost as little as £10. A fixed RCD will cost more, but will provide a greater degree of protection to help keep your family safe.

“We recommend that anyone using electrical appliances outdoors owns an RCD. Not using one could cost you your life.”

For advice and tips on staying safe in the garden, visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/gardening