Garden Electrical Safety

With so many of us extending our homes beyond four walls and embracing the outdoors, it’s vital to ensure cables and sockets are installed safely, securely and are well maintained – here’s what to think about.

Outdoor sockets

Whether you need to plug in your lawn mower, stereo or power washer, garden sockets are convenient for so many uses.

Installed correctly, outdoor sockets also increase flexibility so you don’t end up using extension leads plugged indoors leaving a lengthy trail of cable.

If you’ve already got outdoor sockets, it’s a good idea to regularly check casing to make sure there are no cracks that could lead to leaks. You should also ensure sockets are RCD (residual current device) protected. An RCD will help protect you against electric shock by cutting the electricity flow if it senses a cable has been cut.

Electricity to an outdoor office

If you need electricity to a garden studio or outdoor office, cables need to be dug down deep enough to prevent damage by everyday garden equipment.

Any cabling used will also need to be the right type for the job and location which is something only an electrician will be able to tell you.

Always check that your electrician is registered and qualified. You should look for one who is signed up to either the NICEIC or ELECSA. Both of these organisations regulate and govern standards so you can be confident that the person installing your electrical equipment and fittings is fully trained and competent.

Choosing the right products

Outdoor lights and water features are a great way to enhance your garden but it’s crucial not to cut corners when it comes to choosing the right product.

Outdoor lighting is more expensive – but for good reason. Bulbs are secured, encased and sealed to ensure they withstand the elements. You should always buy garden lighting (and any outdoor equipment) from reputable stores and look for internationally recognised safety marks, for example:

  • IP rating – this stands for ‘Ingress Protection’ and shows how well a product will withstand elements like moisture.
  • CE – the European safety mark.
  • BEAB – reinforces the European safety mark CE.

If you’re putting together a water feature, double check any extra components you buy are also waterproof.

Top safety tips for all garden equipment

There are no set rules about how often you should check sockets and equipment but we’d always recommend keeping regular tabs on anything electrical and be aware of:

  • Sockets – these should be undamaged and secured in place.
  • Cables – all permanent cables should be buried underground. Anything temporary should be covered to stop it being a trip hazard.
  • Transformers and switches – should be well concealed and safe from curious little fingers if you have children or grandchildren. Bulbs that get hot to touch should also be placed out of reach.
  • Non-outdoor equipment – if you’re using something that belongs inside (like a stereo or speaker) remember to take it back indoors.

If in doubt – speak to the experts

At Barton Electrical, we’re here to help. As qualified electricians, registered with the NICEIC, we take huge pride in what we do. Whether you just need some advice, want to check your electrics are safe, or need sockets and cables installed, call us on 01473 741320 or drop us an email at: