Our homes are heavily dependent on electricity, but this also makes them full of potential electrical hazards. The best way to avoid dangerous situations in your home is to know what signs to look for and how to take appropriate action. Here are some of the most common electrical hazards in the home
Outdated Or Faulty Wiring
Good quality wiring is crucial to the safety of your home. Unsafe wiring can cause power surges, electrical faults and even electrical fires. You should have the wiring in your home inspected on a regular basis by a qualified electrician. If your home is more than 30 years old, you should arrange annual electrical inspections.
Power outlets that spark or feel warm, circuit breakers that constantly trip and flickering lights are all indicators that you could have an issue with your electrical wiring. In these instances, you are best to call an electrician as soon as possible.
Unprotected Electrical Sockets
Children and electrical outlets are not a good mix. If a curious child puts an object or a finger into the socket there is a very high risk that they will get burnt, shocked or even electrocuted. To protect your child, have an electrician install child safety wall plates. These plates have built-in outlet covers that snap shut when the outlet is not in use.
Pay extra close attention to the electrical sockets that are located close to water sources. Water conducts electricity, and if they come into contact with each other, the risk is high that you will experience a painful and dangerous shock. Make sure you install electrical sockets a safe distance from any water source.
Overloaded Power Sockets And Strips
Power sockets and strips are designed to handle a set amount of electricity. If you plug several high voltage electrical appliances into the same power strip, you could overload it and cause an electrical fire.
If you use power strips in your home, opt for models with a circuit breaker to minimise the risk of fire. The breaker will trip when the strip becomes too hot or overloaded. Additionally, check your power outlets on a regular basis for any damage and have any necessary repairs performed as quickly as possible.
Pouring Water On An Electrical Fire
If an electrical fire breaks out in your home, do not use water to put it out. The water will fuel the fire further and can even cause electrocution in the worst-case scenario. Invest in a fire extinguisher that you can use in the case of an emergency.
Handling Appliances With Wet Hands
It’s easy to reach for the hair dryer with wet hands or for the stick mixer without drying your hands first. However, handling electrical appliances with wet hands increases the risk of getting an electric shock. Make sure you dry your hands before you reach for any electrical devices.
Incorrect Light Bulb Wattage
Always use light bulbs that use less watts or an equal wattage to what a lamp is designed to handle. If you use a light bulb with a wattage that’s too high, you will risk overloading the lamp’s wiring, which could lead to a fire, or at the very least, a faulty lamp. You can usually find the wattage capacity of a lamp on its socket.
Covered Electrical Cords
Most of us want to cover up electrical cables for aesthetic reasons, but this can lead to the cords overheating. Your electrical appliances can also overheat, further increasing the risk of an electrical fire. Make sure items such as computers and televisions have enough space around them for ventilation.
Using Unsafe Appliances
A slow cooker that constantly trips a circuit might seem more irritating than dangerous, but a faulty electrical appliance can be a significant hazard in your home. If your device begins to malfunction while you are using it, go to the electrical panel and cut off the power to where it is plugged in. Have the appliance repaired by an electrician or recycle it, and never use recalled appliances.
By following these steps and increasing your awareness of potential electrical hazards, you are well on your way to making your home a safe place. You can also call GA Perry to perform an electrical inspection of your home. We guarantee to be on time or the first hour of labour is free. Call us today