We may think we know all there is to know about electrical safety in the household, yet in **2011/12 there were 46 deaths in the home due to fires of electrical origin.
So….here’s our Top 10 Electrical Safety Tips to help keep you and your family safe around the house, and to avoid electrical fires and accidents.
1 Make it a habit to turn off electric games and appliances when they're not in use. Before going to bed, make it a routine to check that all electrical devices not in use are properly shut off.
2 Never ever overload sockets. It's a safe bet to always use just one plug in every socket. Even if you are using the adapter make sure it's the bar type that also has a fuse. The total output of all plugs in the adapter should be no more than the specified rating.
3 Adding a residual current device is an easy way to cut off power and prevent shocks. Another sensible option is to fix one on the fuse box. Alternately, you can choose a portable one, which are ideal for outdoor jobs such as using the lawnmower or vacuum cleaner.
4 It's a good idea to periodically keep an eye on the condition of the plugs and sockets. You should pay attention to any burnt or frayed wires on appliances. It's best to get the services of a professional electrician to fix such problems.
5 Never allow wires or leads to run under carpets where they remain invisible. Besides being a tripping hazard its hard to see the state of the cables or wires.
6 Never ever allow electric wires or cables to trail over kitchen appliances like toasters or stove tops. These are very dangerous and are hazards of the worst kind. Also, never finger the toaster with anything, especially with any metal.
7 Do not stick in nails or try to make holes in the walls of your home. It's a potential danger since you may not know what's behind your point of entry. And you should also take care when digging or excavating as you run the risk of cutting live underground wire.
8 Avoid mixing liquids and electricity. They should be kept as far apart as possible. Touch your appliances with dry hands only. Avoid placing water or other liquids on top of electrical appliances. Many of us use the TV top or microwave as a counter but that's actually very dangerous if liquids spill into open slots and cause a short circuit. And while using a steam kettle, do not fill it up while it's still plugged on.
9 It's best to avoid taking major electrical appliances into a bathroom. Always check for the wire coding on appliances like hair dryers, hair straighteners or radios that are often used in bathrooms.
10 Make sure that your children do not walk in wet into the house directly from the rain or your swimming pool. Your home is a place that is full of electrical sources and could pose a threat to their safety. Get them to dry out completely before entering the house. Also make sure your plug sockets are protected with plastic plug covers ensuring babies and toddlers can’t put their fingers into the live parts of the plug socket.
** statistics from The Electrical Safety Council www.esc.org.uk