Electricity powers our homes. Without it life is bound to come to a standstill. But do you know about the basics of electrical safety? According to statistics available thousands of cases of electrical fires are reported from homes across the UK every year. In addition to that there are several hundred cases of electrocution and other untoward incidents related to electricity. To cut a long story short, most of these cases could have been avoided easily and this is where the aspect of home electrical safety proves importance.
It is too important aspect to ignore. Raising the bar of our consciousness a little will prove significantly helpful to cut down hazards related to electricity as well as to minimise the incidents of electrical fire and electrical shocks across homes.
In the following section of the blog post let us explore the basics of electrical safety to be followed in homes.
Basic safety tips related to electricity
Before discussing the safety tips let us first know the reasons that lead to electrical fires at homes.
The factors that cause electrical fires in homes
Almost 7 out of every 10 incidents of electrical fire at homes cause due to damaged or faulty wiring and faulty electrical equipment. Apart from that other devices that supply power, like lamps, transformers, plugs, light fixtures and chords are responsible for it. Always consult a trained and qualified professional while identifying potential electrical fire hazards in your home.
Now let us discuss few basic tips on electrical safety for your home.
Basic electrical safety tips for homes
Many incidents of electrical fire can easily be avoided just by following a few basic tips. It is important for every mentally sound and physically fit individual to be aware about those tips. Let us explore the tips now.
Make sure that the correct wattage is being used in all the appliances and fixtures
Check every single appliance, lamp and fixture to make sure the correct wattage is being used everywhere across your home. However a fixture or the other may have no wattage mentioned. In those cases use a bulb that is 60 watt or lower. The same for ceiling fixtures should not exceed the 25 watt limit. It is relevant mentioning here that LED bulbs consume much less power and cuts down the risk of fixture overheating significantly.
Identify the electrical outlets that are already overloaded
An overloaded electrical outlet is a common cause behind problems related to electricity. Check every outlet to ensure:
- They have the protective faceplates in place
- They are in perfect working condition and
- Cool to touch
Remember the following safety trips related to electrical outlets.
- Avoid using multi outlet convertors or extension cords for electrical outlets
- Plug in only one appliance that generates heat at an outlet at a time
- Power strips only add to the number of outlets, they do not increase or decrease the quantity of power an outlet receives
- Smart plugs are not only efficient to keep a tab on power load of electrical outlets but can also shut an appliance down when it registers overheating
Proactively repair or replace any damaged electrical cord
The majority of electrical hazards in homes result from faulty or damaged power cords. Damaged or faulty cords may lead to both electric shocks or electrocution and electrical fires. Regularly check all power and extension cords for signs of fraying, cracking and regular wear and tear. Never staple power rugs; do not either run them from under furniture and rugs. Cords running rugs have chances of overheating. They are also more likely to trip. Furniture – on the other hand – can crush the insulation and in the way cords may get damaged.
Using extension cords once in a blue moon is no problem. But when you use them regularly it indicates there is no enough electrical outlets installed in your home. Get a licensed electrician to install additional outlets to cater to your needs. While purchasing power cords you should note the amount of electrical load it can carry.
In order to avoid damage keep both used and unused cords tidy and secure
Electrical safety rules are not applicable to power cords only when they are in use. They also need to be stored carefully to avoid damage. Your pets may chew on them while kids may consider them as a playing object and act accordingly. So make the cords are kept away from the reach of both your kids and pets. Do not wrap the cords tightly around any object to avoid stretching. In fact this may also result in overheating. Do not place a cord ever on a hot surface. That may damage its insulation and also the wires.
Unplug all the unused appliances
Whenever an appliance is not in use, just unplug it. This tip is though very simple but is also crucial to follow. This prevents phantom drain of power. Phantom drain the quantity of power a device consumes when it is not being used actively. Moreover this unplugging helps it from overheating as well as power surges. It is indeed not easy to remember unplugging an unused electrical appliance. Smart plugs of the current generation prove to be a helpful solution as they allow you to set power schedules for every individual outlet.
Keep both electrical devices and outlets away from water
Electricity and water never go hand in hand. It is important to keep any electrical equipment dry and at a safe distance from water to avoid damages. This way you also stay safe from being electrocuted. Moreover, while working with electrical appliances, you must have your hands dried. Maintain a safe distance between an electrical equipment and aquariums, plant pots, bathtubs, showers and sinks to minimise the chances of water and electricity coming together.
Last but nevertheless the least remember leaving sufficient space between appliances for air to circulate through. This is a good means to avoid overheating, adds an experienced London electrician. Never run any equipment from inside any enclosed cabinet. Store inflammable objects away from both electrical and electronic appliances. Pay close attention in this respect particularly to electric or gas dryer.
Follow these tips consciously and you will be safe. In case you have a query or want to know more, please feel free to contact us through the link above.