Electrical safety at home is paramount. Ensuring the well-being of your family is probably at the top of your list. Read on to know how you can keep your family safe from the dangers of electricity.
Electrical Safety through Leads and Plugs
Leads and plugs are so common in the household. Homeowners often overlook them when issues arise.
It’s important to check these things to prevent a potentially lethal incident and ensure electrical safety in the household:
- Regularly check the condition of leads and plugs to ensure there is no damage to the insulation;
- Keep your leads clear of water; and
- Lastly, unplug leads and plugs with issues and store them somewhere safe until an electrician repairs it or when you purchase a new appliance.
Some items you should check:
- Extension leads
- Phone/laptop chargers
- Multimedia equipment (PC’s, TV’s, etc)
- Vacuum cleaners
Electrical Safety by Doubling Adapters/Powerboards
It can be very frustrating when you have a single powerpoint in a location that has multiple leads/plugs. It can be tempting to add double adapters and powerboards to quickly solve this problem.
Never add too many items to a single outlet or series of powerboards. This can be very dangerous and can very likely overload the outlet. Take note that the outlet at the wall is only rated for 10 Amps.
Overloading an outlet can result in failure of the outlet, damage to equipment, or in some cases even a fire.
Never piggyback double adapters or powerboards.
Electrical Safety by Childproofing Powerpoints
Children are very curious and adventurous. They are constantly testing the limits of their environment and learning about the world. One thing we don’t want them doing this with is powerpoints.
It is a very cheap solution to get powerpoint protectors. They’re just a small plastic cover that prevents children from sticking anything inside a powepoint. This can provide safety for your children in case electrical problems arise.
Electrical Safety through Electrocution Protection Devices/Safety Switches
Gone are the days of a simple fuse in the switchboard protecting you from overloading a circuit. Australian Wiring Rules require that all circuits within a house shall be protected by an Electrocution Protection Device (RCD). However, this only applies to new homes and alterations though so it’s very likely your home is only protected by fuses or circuit breakers.
An Electrocution Protection Devices (RCD) is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault.
RCD Protects you from the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults. For example, if you cut through the cable when mowing the lawn and accidentally touched the exposed live wires or a faulty appliance overheats causing electric current to flow to earth.
Testing Electrocution Protection Devices/Safety Switches
One simple way to check if you have Electrocution Protection Devices (RCD) installed is to look for a test button on the switch.
Test your installed Electrocution Protection Devices (RCD) to ensure they are working. Luckily this is something you can do yourself.
Testing every three months is a good rule of thumb. To do this you just need to press the ‘test’ or ‘T’ button.
If the switch turns off the power, then it’s working correctly. Keep in mind though that the use of safety switches doesn’t mean you can be less careful when using electricity – they are no substitute for proper electrical maintenance and safety practices.
In the event of electric shock
If you feel a tingle when you touch a water fitting, there could be a fault with the earthing of your electrical installation. If it’s safe to do so, shut off the power at the main switch (usually found in the meter box) and call a licensed electrician to investigate.
When helping someone who’s receiving an electric shock, turn off the power at the main switch first. Push the person away from the source of you can turn off the current. Use a non-conducting object, such as a broom, chair, rug, or rubber doormat to do this.
Stand on something dry that doesn’t conduct electricity, such as a rubber mat or folded newspapers.
Call 000 for emergency assistance and stay with the person until help arrives.
For more tips and tricks to building a safer household, get in touch with go-to sparkies.
– Your favourite electricians in Canberra