Electricity is essential to the daily running of your home although many of us take it for granted. The first thing you do in the morning is turn on the light or the kettle; or perhaps the microwave. You may use an electrical razor or a hairdryer while getting ready for the day ahead.
All of these things (and many more) rely on electricity. But, electricity is also a dangerous substance. Reports show 135 electrical accidents in the last 10 years and the trend is increasing. This is confirmed by the fact that the number of electric shocks in the last ten year total 14,654 and these are also increasing.
As a homeowner you need to be aware of the following 7 electrical safety tips and have the phone number of the Electrical Detectives to help you deal with any issue that arises.
- Safety Inspection
Perhaps the most important safety tip that everyone should learn is to have your wiring inspected annually. This will help you to identify how old your wiring is; if you don’t already know. It will also ensure that any problems are picked up early.
You’ll then be able to deal with general maintenance rather than having the stress of dealing with an electrical failure.
- Identify the Fuse Box
If something goes wrong at home then the trip switches in your fuse box should go; cutting the supply.
If the power is out you need to check your fuse box and be able to identify which circuit has developed a fault. This means labeling your fuse box first. Then, if the trip goes you can look at each point on the circuit to attempt to identify the issue.
Of course if you’re not sure then you need to get a qualified electrician in to help you.
- Check your plugs
It is important to feel your plugs on a regular basis. Most plugs will get warm if left on but if they are starting to get hot you will need to be concerned. A hot plug means that there is an issue with the appliance or the circuit.
It is advisable to stop using the socket and the appliance until you know what the issue is.
It should go without saying that if you need to do any maintenance on your appliances you must unplug them. Likewise, working on a socket or lighting circuit means turning the power off at the main fuse box.
- Have A Fire Extinguisher And Keep It Maintained
If you do have an issue with your electrical installation then it is possible it will start a fire. In order to minimize any damage you need to keep a fire extinguisher at home and have it regularly serviced.
This will ensure it is there when you need it; potentially allowing you to stop the fire from spreading and damaging your home.
- Watch Your Lights
Lights that flicker tell you there is an issue with the lighting circuit in your home. You may also have an issue if your bulbs keep blowing.
If this happens it is important to have the circuits checked as quickly as possible. If you can you should avoid using the lights in question until a professional has evaluated the issue and resolved it for you.
- Don’t Overload Sockets
Circuits are designed to handle a maximum load; the exact amount will depend on the size of the wire and the amount of sockets on the circuit.
However a sure way of giving yourself an issue is to overload any one of the sockets. This is easy to do through the use of extension cables and adaptors.
This point is tied in with testing the temperature of the sockets to ensure they are not too warm.
It is also important to unroll any extensions cables you are using; coiled cable will contain the heat and is more likely to start a fire.
- Cover Sockets
If you have children in your home it is important to make sure you use socket covers.
Children are naturally curious and can easily poke their fingers or other objects into a socket. The resulting shock can be deadly. To prevent this from being an issue you need to use socket covers which are child proof.
In general protecting yourself from the danger associated with electricity is basic common sense. But, it is a good idea to review your setup and your usage to ensure that you are as safe as possible.