Nobody can ever say they are the perfect electrician - not me, not any member of my electrical team and not any other qualified electrician with up to date training - we all recognise that fact but we continue to work hard and spend money on training, learning and studying our craft and applying to the best of our ability our knowledge in interpreting BS7671 electrical and other relevant regulations into our everyday jobs.
Unfortunately as it currently stands anyone can call themselves an electrician and carry out electrical work in homes and businesses and the situation is of such concern that Scotland's trade association SELECT are now in discussion with the Scottish Government about regulating the electrical industry in law and making the term Electrician a profession (similar to Gas) which in turn would make it illegal for anyone to carry out electrical work if they are not registered, have no qualifications or have no up to date training.
To give context to the above movement I myself have been on the receiving end lately of being involved with people who carry out electrical work who have not been trained in recent years to the current regulations.
A number of weeks ago I was a approached by someone in my area who argued with me that they were correct in proposing to install battery powered smoke detectors in a private rented property, after I on the the spot showed them the regulations on my phone they still were not convinced "as that was not the rules 15 years ago and it was fine then" but I eventually found out they had listened to me and correctly installed mains powered interlinked smoke detectors.
Unfortunately that was not the end of my encounter and a few weeks later after my company carried out an Electrical Installation Condition Report at a private rented property I was publicly accused by this same person who has admitted having no up to date electrical training, of failing the electrical report for no other reason than failing the report to money grab the remedial work cost. The electrical installation failed on items such as but not limited to - exposed open live electrical connections, a number of circuits/cables protected by oversized circuit breakers, wrong polarity at switch, cables touching sharp metal edges with no grommet(rubber) protection - the accuser incidentally admitted carrying out some of the work we had failed and thought the above 'Danger Present' and 'Potentially Dangerous' items should not have been listed.
As you can probably gather I am rather annoyed at my own and my company's integrity being publicly questioned by someone who really should know better but for what ever reason will not update their qualifications or training to todays regulations.
I am proud of my own and my companies professional attitude, safety and integrity and these recent personal incidents have made me even more determined to join the fight and campaign to regulate the electrical industry - and why? it's simple - people's property and more importantly peoples lives are at risk with electrical work and homeowners and business owners should be protected and be safe in the knowledge that the electrical work they request to be carried out is undertaken correctly, safely and to today's regulations and by qualified professionals who they can trust their property and lives with.
And if property owners wish to still allow these other type of people to carry out electrical work in their property if the industry is regulated then there must be a system in place for the law abiding electricians to report the non-registered and unqualified 'electricians'.
Never miss an opportunity to listen and learn and that's why more than 50 members recently packed into the River House, Stirling for the AGM of SELECT - the electrical trade association for Scotland.
From the usual business of an AGM to technical talks about the forthcoming new edition of BS7671 the electrical regulations it was another worthwhile event to keep in touch with updates and likeminded members of the electrical industry.
Photos courtesy of SELECT & CABLEtalk magazine.
The darker nights will soon be upon us and one of our electrical customers in the Glasgow area is taking positive action by preparing just now during late summer.
The installation of new LED floodlighting around the perimeter of the building will make it a more welcome and safer environment for their staff and visitors.
We are always happy to offer advice on external lighting, security alarms, cctv as well a much more to help make your home or business property a safer place. Just get in touch with our job booking team.
I am proud to announce that Stirling Alarms have been awarded NSI NACOSS GOLD approval, the highest standard a security system company can achieve in the UK.
I remember in the mid-1990's during my early electrical career, learning of an accreditation standard called NACOSS and that this high standard was only held by large well developed security system companies.
Around the same time I also became aware of the NICEIC who are accreditors of electrical work and I remember admiring and respecting companies who displayed those highly rated badges.
Over the early years building up Stirling Electrical Services I was determined to join those ranks and our first major badge of honour was in becoming an approved member of SELECT in 2005. SELECT is the main electrical accreditation company in Scotland and operates to a similar level to NICEIC.
SELECT membership brought regular technical and office system audits and those, alongside other regular audits from Which? Trusted Traders and Buy With Confidence schemes resulted in our office procedures becoming even more effective.
Our technical expertise was also increasing as we brought on board further experienced electricians and engineers to enhance our already solid team. In late 2015 I launched Stirling Alarms, the branded security system division of Stirling Electrical Services and within just three months we were awarded System Silver status by NSI the leading security system accreditation company in UK.
Since then over the past 18 months our hard working team have built up our reputation and procedures and after a recent technical and quality management system audit we have successfully been approved and accredited to NSI NACOSS GOLD level operating at BS EN ISO 9001:2015 standard.
NSI NACOSS GOLD is only awarded to companies who consistently meet the industry's highest standards through ISO9001 Quality Management as well as the relevant British and European Standards demonstrating that the company is run in a competent professional manner operating to the highest standards.
Gaining these badges of honour is a fantastic achievement and our team should be proud.
Now, we must continue to learn and improve and to maintain our high level of service - as badges of honours mean nothing without happy customers and that is the driving force pushing us all forward.
It was pleasing to see an article in this weeks Stirling Observer newspaper about local youth football club Carse Thistle.
I played with Carse at Under 16 & 18 level after spending most of my youth football at the successful North Broomage Colts/VIS Colts team from Under 11 through to Under 15.
Like many of my primary school friends I knew Dick from 10 years old after we all had trials at Carse Thistle and later in life I bumped into him a few times in Stirling city centre where he would never pass you without saying hello and asking how I was.
An absolute gentleman of a man who dedicated a lot of his life to youth football in the Stirling area and I wish the new custodians of the club all the success in the future as they carry on the legacy of Dick Taylor.
Are the A9 average speed cameras a success? Well I certainly think so and the stats prove it.
The most notorious section of the A9 is from Perth to Inverness which I have driven many times and now a handful of times since the average speed cameras were installed with the latest drive being today and I have found the journey to the likes of Aviemore and Inverness to be less stressful and I've encountered less incidents or potential incidents since the average speed cameras were installed.
Major roadworks over the next handful of years for dualling purposes will cause distribution and some frustration but there can be no argument that since average speed cameras were installed instead of the small number of static individual cameras the road is crucially safer with journey times far from affected.
Dualling the A9 is a massive project and was talked about for decades before the current Scottish Government committed to the long term plan and we are already seeing the benefits of the decision to upgrade the road as well as the decision to take decisive action against speeding.
It's crucial I receive feedback about our team from our customers and apart from a rare occasion the feedback is usually positive.
I welcome all feedback and it's particularly pleasing when you receive hand written thank you notes from customers who wish to take the time and thank our team members for the service we have provided.
Adding that personal touch these days with a hand written note confirms to me that our customer was pleased about our security alarm install as well as with our hard working team who deserve full praise for the way they go about their business.
Monday tomorrow and I always look forward to an early start to the week.
Whether it's for exercise, planning, business time or just to get some you time it's amazing what we can achieve in the first hour or two before breakfast.
Try it initially for 2-3 times per week with one of those a weekend day and take note of what you have done in those early hours and when you look back at the end of the week you will be amazed to see how much you can accomplish in those quiet undisturbed hours.
Just one quick helpful pointer always use the evening before to plan for what you want to achieve in that morning time. Waking up with a plan will make it easier and keep you focused.
I just wanted to blog and register a post today in what I know I will look back on as a milestone in my business life.
I remember when I was in my late teens admiring what my team and I this week have taken a massive step towards.
Ok, too much info already. Hopefully more news over coming weeks.
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