How would you cope if you didn’t have electricity in your home for an entire day? Think about it, you won’t be able to use the microwave, make coffee, watch TV, read at night or charge your mobile phone! The idea makes you realise how often you use electricity and what an important part it plays in your life. If we’re so spoiled with electricity and barely aware of how frequently we use it, it’s understandable that we can easily forget the potential dangers it could hold.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid potential electrical accidents around the house. Make sure that your entire family is familiar with these tips in order to prevent unnecessary mishaps. Even better, write them down and stick them on the fridge where everyone can see them.
Turn off appliances
When you’re not using an electrical appliance, make sure that you turn it off at the switch. If you’re done using your mobile phone charger, make sure you unplug it. If you’re using appliances that generate heat, like a heater in winter, double check that you switch it off and unplug it when you leave the room. A great habit to adopt is to do a routine check when you leave the house to see that everything is properly switched off and unplugged.
Don’t overload sockets
This is probably one of the most important rules to follow. Never overload your sockets with duel plugs and extension cords. A good rule of thumb is to use one plug per socket. If you use extension cords, make sure that it has a fuse that will kick off when it overloads.
Always monitor the condition of your plugs, cords and sockets. Check it regularly for flaws, twists, damaged or exposed electrical wires and burns around sockets or plugs. If you find any problems, get a licenced electrician to fix it and don’t try to repair it yourself.
It might be tempting to hide that annoying cord under your rug but this is another potential hazard. Someone can easily trip over a covered cord but you won’t be able to see the condition of the cord either. An electrical cord should always stay as cool as possible but when you cover it, you prevent it from cooling down naturally.
Don’t expose wires to heat
We tend to use a lot of appliances in the kitchen, especially ones that we can unplug and put back into the cupboard. It’s easy to be so busy with the food you’re preparing that you might not even notice the temporary plugged in cables running over the stovetop or toaster. This is extremely dangerous, so be aware when you’re practicing in your kitchen for the next Master Chef.
There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to get your toast out of the toaster. The great smell of fresh toast might cloud your rational thoughts and drive you to stick your finger or a knife into the toaster. Don’t do this! You may get an electric shock when you are poking your finger into an electrical appliance that is still plugged in.
Another vital rule is to keep cables, plugs and all electrical devices away from liquids. When you’re in the kitchen or bathroom, make sure to keep your electrical appliances away from water and only handle them with dry hands. Do not stand in water while using electrical appliances and don’t fill up your electronic kettle while it’s still plugged in.
Many electrical accidents happen around the socket and plug areas. If you have small children in the house, it’s best to put safety caps on all unused electrical outlets.
When you’re not close to a socket or plug, it’s tempting to want to yank the cord out of the wall. This is very dangerous and can damage the plug, outlet or appliance.
Follow these tips and you will greatly reduce the risk of potential electrical hazards.