Electricity is commonplace, it’s so easy to forget how potentially deadly electricity can be if we don’t take electrical safety seriously. If you have a family, it’s arguably more important to get to grips with electrical safety at home. So, we’ve put together a helpful guide, to point out how to take the right electrical safety precautions – ensuring electrical safety at home.
What is electrical safety?
Knowing what to look out for, being aware of potential dangers and understanding what to avoid and change is what electrical safety is all about.
Did you know that there are around 30 deaths and thousands of injuries each year that are caused by electrical accidents? Make sure your home is safe.
If you’re a landlord – it’s your responsibility to get your properties checked and to ensure they’re safe to live in. Thermatic Homes can help you with this.
What causes electrical fires or electrical problems in homes?
Did you know that around a quarter of electrical fires are caused by damaged or faulty wiring in domestic appliances? Other electrical problems include overloading plug sockets or misusing appliances.
Electrical safety tips at home:
1- Damaged electrical cables – keep an eye out for damaged cables, all cables and extensions should be checked on a regular basis and repaired or replaced when required. A general rule of thumb – don’t run cables under furniture or rugs as they could become a trip hazard, get crushed, damaged or overheat.
2- Socket overload – don’t do it! Overloading sockets is one of the most common causes of electrical fires around the home. It’s important that you make sure that sockets are cool to touch and that you only plug in one heat-producing appliance into a multi-way socket at anyone time.
3- Avoid the splash – it’s a no brainer, but your electrical devices should be kept away from water! Water + electricity is a deadly combo. There’s a high risk of electrocution if you use electrical appliances with damp hands. Top tip – always unplug your kettle before you fill it!
4- Tidy & secure – keep all unused cables out the way, electrical safety doesn’t just apply to cables when they’re in use. It’s good practice not to wrap cables around objects as this can stretch them (laptops/hairdryer/hair straighteners) and cause overheating. Top tip – never, ever, place a cable on a hot surface as this can damage the wiring inside and the insulation!
5- Not using it? Unplug it! An unplugged appliance is safer than one that’s left plugged in. Not only is it safer but it will also save you money. Plugged in appliances still use power even on standby. Unplugging them will also prevent your appliances from overheating.
6- Are your sockets a bit hard to reach? Why not invest in a smart plug or energy-saving extension bar.
7- Air circulation – to keep cool whilst they’re working, electrical equipment needs room for air to circulate. If you don’t allow circulation your appliances could overheat causing a fire hazard. Never put anything on top of your electrical appliances such as microwaves and never run anything in cupboards. Using a standalone heater? Make sure it’s at least one foot away from the wall.
8- Clean exhaust fans – appliances such as hobs have exhaust fans, these can get clogged and dirty. Making sure these are clean will stop them from becoming a fire hazard and will keep them energy efficient.
9- Heater safety – this may sound simple, but please keep items away from heaters. They should never be near cables or curtains and should always be on a level surface.
10- Fuses – it’s very easy to replace a fuse, it’s important that you make sure you use the right fuse for the right appliance. Using the wrong fuse can cause your cable to overheat = the appliance isn’t protected against electrical faults.
11- Knock offs – be very wary of items imported into the UK as they sometimes don’t always meet the national safety standards. Never buy counterfeit electrical goods as these are a leading cause of fires and electrical shocks. The same applies to batteries.
12- Watt are you using? It’s important to check you’re using the right wattage for your light bulbs; this is less of a worry for LED bulbs of course as they’re less likely to overheat. Using the right wattage bulb can prevent electrical problems.
13- Manufacturer’s instructions – always follow them! This is probably the most simple and effective piece of advice when you’re using any appliance – always read the instructions. Not only will it keep you safe, but it will improve the performance of the device.
Side note – if any appliance gives you an electrical shock, stop using it right away and ask a qualified electrician to check. Never try to repair it yourself.
Get in touch
If you’re looking for a reliable electrical contractor, get in touch. With national coverage and a wealth of experience, we’re in the best position to support your needs. Drop us a call on 0161 543 4128 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org