Entertainers come in many forms from magicians to disco DJ's, bands and stand up comedians. Whatever your clients tastes, most entertainers will have one identical need – and that is a need for electricity. Whether you need power for speakers, a microphone, amps or decks, it is imperative that your equipment is as safe as the supply you are plugging into.


In this post, we are assuming that you are plugging your equipment into a supply that appears to be safe. Of course during the course of entertaining at various venues, you should never assume that the electricity supply will be safe each and every time. I recommend that you ask to see the venues electrical safety certificate before agreeing to entertain.


Electrical mistakes that entertainers are making


Like most entertainers, electrical safety is not likely to be at the top of your list. Unfortunately this has lead to entertainers being injured or killed as a result of electric shock when entertaining or practising.


You don't need much electricity to give you a fatal electric shock. I have seen time and time again bands setting up before a big night and not giving any thought to electricity.


  • Trailing cables from microphones and other equipment can easily become damaged during the course of the night. Damaged cables expose live wires, which will cause electric shock if touched.


  • Equipment connected incorrectly can cause metal casing and parts to become live. The scenario becomes even more frightening if you are holding a metal instrument or microphone as this will also become live – it would be similar to being sandwiched between two live electrical objects – think of yourself as toast!


  • Just because certain equipment such as loudspeakers don't have a mains supply doesn't mean they can't harm you. Some audio equipment can have terminals inside which carry dangerously high voltages.


  • Don't forget, that like other electrical appliances, entertaining equipment can overheat and cause fire. Electrical fire is currently the biggest cause of fire breakouts in homes and other buildings. The vast majority of electrical fires can be easily prevented by taking sensible precautions.


How to keep your entertaining equipment electrically safe


Always keep your entertaining equipment clean and in good working order. Store instruments, amps and other equipment in purpose made cases to avoid damage particularly to the electrical cord. Do not tamper with electrical equipment by attempting your own repairs and always maintain your equipment in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.


Before plugging in, inspect the cord and electrical equipment for damage such as live wires exposed, cable breakages and loose plugs. If you have any doubt over the safety of your equipment, always consult a qualified and registered electrician in Birmingham.


Do not do any of these commonly made mistakes:


  • Do not take another persons word that their equipment is safe. Always carry out your own checks and better still, use an RCD plug so if a fault develops with the equipment, you will be protected from the dangers of electric shock.


  • Do not connect or use equipment that you know to be dangerous or incompatible.


  • Do not over-ride the function of your RCD plug. If the RCD activates, this means that an electrical fault has been detected – it may well have saved your life. Never plug your equipment in without the RCD plug even if you are part way through your show. It could cost you your life.


  • Do not overload extension leads and try not to rely on them too much – plugging your equipment directly into a socket is a far safer option. If any leads or plug tops are damaged then the equipment must not be used.


  • Do not replace plug fuses with foil, wire or nails – this is extremely dangerous and you will not be protected from electric shock.


Have your electrical equipment tested


If you have your equipment PAT tested by an electrician in the Birmingham area, you will have peace of mind that your equipment is safe to use. PAT testing is a straightforward and low cost way of determining the safety of your equipment. Regular PAT testing keeps your equipment in optimum working order and any potential problems will be detected before they spoil a performance.


The show must go on? – don't become a statistic


Never feel under pressure from event organisers to continue with a show when you are aware of dangerous electrics. It is better to have a few disgruntled people than being killed by dangerous electrics. Electrical safety is everyone’s concern.


Dangerous electrics should not be used until they have been investigated by a qualified and registered electrician in Birmingham or Coventry and repaired or replaced.