We all know that we need to stay safe around electricity. But how exactly should we do this? We’ve put together a list of 16 essential electrical safety tips for your home that everyone should know.
Inspect your electrical cords regularly for any damage or fraying. If you have pets or children in the home this is especially important.
If you notice any damage to the cords, repair it where possible, or get a licensed electrician to replace them if necessary.
Plugs should also be monitored for damage, particularly for older appliances that might have experienced more wear and tear from regular use than your newer appliances.
Overloading your sockets with multiple appliances is never a good idea. Each socket has a maximum level of amperage it can handle.
The more plugs that are connected to one socket, the more power you’re demanding from just one outlet and there is a chance that it could result in a short circuit and even a fire.
Not using an appliance? Turn it off at the wall. Even better, unplug it completely.
Keep your electrical appliances free from dust. Dust can cause blockages in your appliance and when it relies on a fan to run and keep cool, this could be detrimental to the appliance.
Make sure you have some space around your appliance if it emits air.
Even inbuilt appliances like fridges and dishwashers will usually have requirements for any free space they need surrounding them to perform optimally.
Poor ventilation can lead to overheating and breakdown.
It should go without saying but avoid using electrical items in wet areas.
Electricity and water do not mix, so don’t allow them to come in contact with each other.
Knowing how your switchboard works is important.
Should your lights or appliances stop working, you can check the switchboard to see if it’s a particular circuit or item that has caused it to trip.
Knowing how to switch your electricity off in an emergency is also crucial.
Never, ever leave heat based appliances unattended.
This includes heaters, hairdryers and hair straighteners. These could easily over heat, potentially causing a fire.
Always have functional smoke alarms in your home. Test them regularly to make sure they are still working and change the batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer.
If you have a family with young children or cheeky pets that like to get up to mischief, it’s a good idea to childproof your electrical outlets which aren’t in constant use.
This will keep your family safe from any mishaps.
Notice a water leak in your home? Get it repaired as soon as you can.
If left too long, the water could soak into your electrical sockets or appliances and cause damage, such as a fire.
You might think only businesses need to have fire extinguishing equipment on site, but it’s also a good idea to keep something at home as well.
You could buy a fire blanket or small extinguisher to keep at home for emergencies. Make sure everyone in the family knows where it is kept and how to use it.
Doing renovations at home? Get someone to inspect the build site and know where your cables are before you start digging or knocking down wall.
If building an extension, it’s a good idea to use the Dial Before You Dig service to ensure you won’t be disturbing any existing cables or pipelines on your property.
Use an electrician for your electrical work, even if you think you could DIY.
An electrician is licensed to make changes to wiring, switches and cables; you aren’t.
Not using an electrician can also affect the validity of your insurance should anything go wrong later down the line.
In an emergency, don’t hesitate to call 000. If someone receives an electric shock, call the emergency services who will talk you through how to safely assist until help arrives.