Electricity fuels our everyday life, and it is what drives most of our activities. We rely too much on electricity that we only feel the absence of it when it’s knocked down on a stormy night and you are left in the dark. You call up the electrician, and he says it’s a short circuit. What exactly is it and what should you do to prevent it?

A short circuit is when the path of flow of electricity is obstructed, and it leads to a snap in the connection. It generally happens when one wire carrying electric current gets short with another wire, and the fuse blows up. The fallout of a short circuit is that it will generate severe heat and may even lead to a fire.

What causes a short circuit?

There could be a variety of causes that may lead to a short circuit at home. More often it has to do with your wiring. Many other factors are:

  • Connections often become loose with time

Wires and the connections at your home might become loose, and a live wire could come in contact with a neutral wire. If you don’t run a periodic check of your house then the chances of short circuit increases. Always get it done from a licensed electrician.

  • Faulty connection

If your installations are old and you haven’t checked them for a very long time then get them checked. Often the nail and screw punctures can damage the wire casing and even expose the live wire. Sometimes wiring is done improperly which also triggers the risk of short circuit in the long run.

  • Old appliances

Old appliances often have broken wires internally which are hard to figure out on the outside. Also, pests like mice and rats sometimes mess up with your internal wires that exposes the live-metallic part of wire causing it to short circuit.

How do you prevent a short circuit from happening at home?

You can characterize a short circuit through flame, spark or smoke. But if it happens, it is definitely going to cause a great deal of damage to your home. Well, prevention in the first place is important. So what steps should you take to prevent a short circuit from happening:

  • Unplug electronic devices when not used

Many of your electronic devices still consume power when they are plugged on to the socket even when you have physically turned them off. Your television, air conditioner or microwave consume electricity even when you put them on standby mode. If something goes wrong with any of the internal wiring, it will cause short-circuit even when they are on standby.

  • Ground all your outlets

Earthing plays a major role when the flow of current has to be decided in case of a short circuit. It’s actually a pocket-friendly method to minimise the risk of short-circuiting. It routes high voltage electricity to the ground in the event of a short-circuit. If you don’t have grounding make sure to do it at the earliest.

  • Never stack too many appliances on a single output

Plugging in too many devices on one external power source could lead to overheating and increase the risk of short-circuiting. Do not use more than three inputs on one single power output. Avoid using too many multi plugs as it generates a lot of heat and triggers the risk of short- circuit or even fire.

  • Change wires timely

The wiring at your home gets old with time and needs a replacement for proper and safe functioning. If you see any of the wires coming off, then get them inspected by a qualified electrician in Sydney to avoid future occurrences.

  • Use a circuit-breaker

Install a circuit breaker at your home to prevent short-circuit even if accidentally wires touch each other. A circuit breaker ensures power supply snaps off in case of excess heat. It uses a material of low resistance like aluminium that melts when temperature crosses beyond a certain point.