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Electrical Safety in the Home

What is Electrical Safety?

The home can be a much more dangerous place than you think. It is important to be aware of electrical safety and the potential hazards that you may face so an accident can be avoided.

Why is electrical safety important?

As technology has advanced, electricity has become more and more important in our lives. Unfortunately, this increases the likelihood of an accident. We use electricity so regularly it’s almost like we forget how powerful and dangerous it is; here are a few ways to avoid a potentially fatal electrical accident.

The main hazards of electricity

Some of the most common hazards that come with electricity are…

  • People making contact with live parts which then lead to burns and electric shocks.
  • Electrical faults that lead to fires
  • Electricity coming into contact with and explosive surrounding such as solvents, gas or dry materials.

Regular checks on wiring installation

Electrical SafetyIf you have recently moved into an old property, have your wiring checked by a professional to ensure that it is safe. Make sure you have your wiring installation checked at least every five years no matter how old the building is.

The authenticity of electrical appliances

Look out for signs of authenticity on your electrical appliances so that you know they are safe. Check for the CE mark, this will ensure that it reaches the relevant safety requirements. If you have owned an electric blanket for a while, review the manufacturer’s instructions to check that it is safe to use.

Wear and tear on wires

Electrical SafetyAs time goes by electrical appliances become faulty and damaged; look out for deteriorating flexes and wires. Keep an eye out for exposed wires, melting plastic or any scorch marks. Check that all your light fittings and switches are not showing any signs of damage. Get a professional to check any damage as soon as possible! This also applies to faulty appliances that appear well on the outside but don’t seem to be fulfilling their purpose.

Overloading Plug Sockets

Electrical SafetyOverloading plug sockets is a very common bad habit; a bad habit which seems to gets overlooked. Overloading plug sockets can be a huge fire hazard and can also damage the plug sockets. Even though there may be space on an extension lead it doesn’t mean it’s safe to fill it. Check the rating of the extension cord when judging what to plug into it. Another common bad habit is plugging one extension lead to another; this can be another way of overheating the lead.

Are plug hole covers dangerous?

Although plug hole covers are designed to protect children from the plug socket; the device is said to undermine the safety features of a three-hole plug. Although this is the case putting your finger in a live plug socket could be potentially fatal and must be avoided.

Top rules to improve electrical safety at home

  • Don’t run wires under carpets or rugs as they can be easily damaged and can become a hazard.
  • Avoid using a microwave as a shelf or the inside as storage space when it isn’t in use.
  • Don’t leave your phone or tablet under your pillow you are charging it or when you sleep.
  • Never take electrical appliances that you have attached to the mains into the bathroom.
  • Avoid leaving combustible waste or items near a meter, fuse box, electrical intake or switch room.
  • Switch off electrical items when you are not using them.

What is an electrical RCD?

To protect the whole of your house, why not install an RCD? An RCD or residual current device is devised to prevent you from being shocked by live electricity. The RCD’s sensitivity safety device will automatically shut off the electricity if there is a fault.

3B Training’s Fire Warden course covers how to prevent and tackle electricity fires. If you would like to book onto a Fire Warden/Marshall course click here.

Fire Prevention in the Home

Take a look at our hints and tips on how to prevent potentially fatal fire at home here.

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