If only electricians were able to go to a job, and then just work through until it was done, just like all the other skills on site. But oh no, life’s not like that. First there’s the wiring to do – from circuit protection to outlet back boxes. Then, and usually several days later, when the plasterers and decorators have finished, then and only then, can you return to finish the work by fitting all the electrical accessories and other devices. But all this is about to change with the introduction of a brand new product idea from one of the most established and trusted names in the industry, Electrium, and this new innovation for the electrical industry is called Safety Shield.
By using a Safety Shield on each of the wiring accessories, an installer can do both the first and the second fixes at the same time, or put another way, get rid of the 2nd fix altogether. The Safety Shield simply fits between the back box and the accessory to provide a temporary finished surface that the accessory fixes against in the same way that it would fix against the finished wall.
It elevates the accessory from the wall surface providing working space for plaster patching and decorating, so that the accessories themselves do not need to be removed. It also provides a frame for plaster patching that guarantees a neat finish without the back box ever being clogged up with plaster. It prevents accidental tiling over the fixing lugs as well, eliminating the problem of having to retro-trim tiles in order to fix the accessory in place. It also forms a trim border for wallpaper and a “cutting in edge” for paintwork. And when all other work is complete, the builder can simply loosen the retaining screws, tear Safety Shield away along its pre-formed break points, and retighten the screws.
And if doing away with the second fix isn’t useful enough, it’s the ideal solution for refurbishment and re-wire contracts where it’s necessary to get the power back on and keep the installation fully functional while waiting for other trades to complete their part of the job. For example, the refurbishment of a kitchen usually requires the first fix electrical installation to be undertaken some time before the plaster is repaired and the finishing touches of tiling etc are applied. So, what will the customer do for power and lighting in the meantime? The conventional solution is very labour intensive if continuity of power supply is essential. With Safety Shield, however, it’s simple to keep the power on between trades, doing away with the need for numerous return visits to site to fit and re-fit, and to energise and de-energise circuits, and that means the installer saves time and money while the customer is less disturbed by the process. Electrical safety tests can be carried out and the power can be left on, especially useful on the cooker and the freezer circuits but equally important on lighting and general power.
Safety Shield brings numerous benefits to the all trades working in the refurbishment industry. Connaught Construction has already taken full advantage of the benefits of this amazing innovation. Their Health and Safety offices have approved Safety Shield for use on all ‘Decent Homes’ contracts. These contracts often involve refurbishment of large numbers of social housing units. As part of this service, each home must have power available for the tenants throughout the whole of the 21-day refurbishment timescale, and that power must be provided in a manner that is safe for everyone, including the tenants and the tradesmen working on the property.
Jonathan Lewis, Site Manager of Bullock Construction Ltd says: “Since using these brilliant, well constructed, bright yellow boxes on all our rewires, I have personally seen a vast improvement to both safety and quality of work. The boxes are instantly noticeable and cover the full area around both light switches and sockets, this means there is no access for fingers to accidentally touch live wires behind the fronts of the
sockets (and we all know how inquisitive children are). There is also a much better finish by the plasterer as they have something solid to work to on all four sides of the socket or switch”
The average saving from using safety shield is estimated at around £132 per dwelling, so if you’re looking for a business opportunity to give you an advantage in these troubled economic times, then by eliminating the 2nd fix, you can make your jobs both more profitable and more competitive all in one go. And then you can laugh all the way to the bank – well if there are any of them left by the time you read this!
For further information about Safety Shield contact Electrium Sales on 01543 455000.
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