Electricity is all around us in our daily lives both in the home and the office. Thanks to our continuing reliance on electricity to power our lights, heating, appliances, and gadgets, there are more electrical hazards than ever to be aware of. So let’s dive in and take a closer look at 7 common electrical hazards.
1. Damaged or defective wiring
If you’ve taken possession of an old home then one of the first steps we recommend is to have a wiring inspection carried out. Poor wiring can increase the danger of fire, arc faults, and power surges. It’s vital that your wiring conforms to Australian standards and essential therefore to use a qualified electrician for any wiring in your home, be it old or new.
Some hazards include:
- Frayed extension cords
- Cracked wire insulation
- Overheated cords
- Loose connections such as switches and outlets
2. Pouring water on electrical fires
It’s natural to panic in the case of an electrical fire in the home and this often results in people pouring water onto the fire in an attempt to put it out. Unfortunately, this has the effect of fueling the fire and could result in the person being electrocuted.
A good tip is to keep a fire extinguisher handy in a place where it’s easily visible, and in the case of an electrical fire, use the extinguisher to put out the flames. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher turn off the power, get everyone out of the house, and call the fire brigade.
3. Outlets too close to the water
Outlets in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens should be placed as far away as possible from sources of water. Water conducts electricity so keeping outlets a fair distance from water reduces any risk of electrical shocks. Remember never to use your hairdryer or phone near the bath or the pool, or anywhere that the floor is wet.
4. Wet hands
Expanding on the point above, never ever handle electrical devices with wet hands as this increases the risk of electrical shocks. Make sure your hands are properly dry after getting out of the shower before reaching for your hairdryer.
5. Extension cords
Extension cords are useful when you need that extra length from the power socket to where you want to use your device. However, trailing cords can cause a trip and fall hazard so when using them keep them fixed firmly in position and never use them as a permanent alternative to additional outlets.
6. Young children
It’s only natural that toddlers want to explore their surroundings and although we’re sure those of you who are parents supervise little ones at all times, it makes sense to provide extra protection for them by replacing any powerpoints which are within their reach with extra safe powerpoints. Unprotected powerpoints can lead to serious injury for inquisitive children.
Most of us probably don’t think of lightbulbs as dangerous but if you’re using old-style bulbs that get hot in use and they’re placed near inflammable materials such as curtains, there is a risk of fire. Always take care to turn off the light switch before changing a light bulb so as not to get an electric shock, and again, do not use wet hands. Also, replace your bulbs with LED ones that don’t get as hot in use.
To reduce the risk of death by electric shock, we recommend the installation of a safety switch or RCD (residual current device).
Never carry out electrical work yourself, instead give Static Electrics electricians a call on 07 3497 5076. We can conduct a thorough wiring inspection and recommend any electrical works that need to be carried out in your home to ensure your safety.