Your home is full of electronic appliances that are meant to make life comfortable. Although these gadgets provide convenience, the reality is that they can also pose significant risk.
Protect your home from these six severe electrical hazards to ensure that both your family and property remain safe.
Abandon Appliances In Contact With Water
In case an already connected electrical appliance comes into contact with water, it is advisable to avoid unplugging it. Instead, the best solution is to go to the electrical control panel box in your household and switch off the source of power, which is supplying electricity to the appliance. Once you have turned off the power source, you can unplug the device and seek the advice of a qualified electrician to assess its safety. Never touch appliances or outlets with wet hands and as a rule of thumb, always unplug electrical appliances when they are not being used to help minimize the risk of electrocution and save on electricity.
Unprotected Electrical Outlets
In any household, it is common for children to be fascinated by electrical outlets. While interest in various things within their environment is part of their development process, electrical outlets pose a significant risk. For instance, If a child puts a wet finger or inserts an electricity-conducting object into an outlet, there is a high risk that he/she may be electrocuted. Safeguard your kids from these dangers by using plastic closures to conceal any outlet that is within their reach. While this is a short term solution, a long-term alternative can be the fitting of child safety wall plates. Primarily, these wall plates have in-built outlet covers that snap into place automatically whenever the outlet is not being used.
Outdated or Poor Wiring
Cheap, poor quality wiring and appliances or shotty electrical work can cause major issues and electrical fires. It is worth paying a bit more to invest in quality wiring and workmanship that meets Australian standards than risk dangers to your home and family. According to the national fire prevention agency, poor wiring is the primary reason behind most household fires. To address this danger, it is advisable to seek the services of a qualified electrician to assess your household’s wiring within specified intervals to identify areas that need to be corrected or replaced.
In case the wiring in your residence dates back 30 years or more, it is crucial to have it inspected every year.
Furthermore, if the lights in your home flicker or dim unexpectedly, circuit breakers trip continuously, or the outlets keep sparking, you need to contact an electrician immediately. Such occurrences are indicators of the need to repair the wiring in your household.
Overloaded Power Strips and Outlets
For every home, both power strips and outlets are intended to support a specific volume of electricity. What this point means is that connecting many high voltage gadgets into a power strip can result in an overloaded strip or outlet. Sometimes the outcome of such a situation can be an electrical fire.
Another dangerous practice is connecting adapters into the power strip to increase the number of gadgets it can support. What most people are not aware of is the fact that connecting two or more power strips at the same time can lead to an overload.
In case you are compelled to use power strips in your house, it is advisable to select models that come fitted with a circuit breaker. The advantage of such models is connected to the fact that the breaker trips whenever the power strip experiences overheating or overloading, which minimizes the risk of a fire breakout.
However, you should not forget that these models also undergo degradation or damage. Therefore, it is essential to check them regularly for replacement. Apart from degradation, also ensure that relevant authorities have certified the models you buy due to the existence of knock-offs that enhance the occurrence of the associated risk
Light Bulbs with Incorrect Wattage
Using a light bulb that has a higher wattage compared to the capacity the lamp can safely allow may result in an overload within the lamp’s wiring. The subsequent implication of such a scenario can be a fire.
It is essential to adopt measures focused on mitigating this risk by using a light bulb whose wattage is either less or equal to the maximum wattage inscribed on the lamp's socket. In case you desire stronger illumination, buy a lamp that supports a bulb with more wattage or switch to LED bulbs which can be a lot brighter while at the same time using less power.
Keep spaces clear and tidy
There are many dangers that can arise from a messy environment paired with electrical appliances. Tangled cords can be more likely to wear and break and some one could also trip on them causing the appliances to suddenly lose power or the person to become injured. Another aspect of mess is the heat generated from many appliances. Although most are fitted with a fan and a breathable grate in the casing, when there is mess around, things can easily fall onto, or in front of, these specific cooling fan grates and hinder the ability for the appliance to cool which can lead to it overheating, burning out or catching fire. Lastly ensure to keep the garden well trimmed with plenty of space between trees, hedges or bushes and the power lines. Think about how much the plant is likely to sway in high winds and allow enough space between the plant and power lines to take this into account.
Apply these tips to identify and rectify the potential electrical risks around your home and keep your family safe from electrical dangers.