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Electrical Safety is paramount. Always use a Licensed Electrician.
Appliance safety in the home
Use and maintain electrical appliances safely around your home. Here are some tips:
- Have a Safety Switch fitted (Always use a licensed electrical contractor)
- Electric blankets should be checked at the start of each winter for damaged wires, plugs, leads and hot spots. If the electric blanket is damaged you should get replace it immediately
- Electric blankets should be laid flat and secured tightly on the bed so that the blanket can’t crease.
- Never use a faulty electrical appliance, or one that has a frayed cord, cracked or broken plug, or any appliance that has given someone any kind of shock
- To avoid a shock, switch off power points before plugging and unplugging appliances
- Remove appliances from the power point by holding the plug, not by pulling the cord
- Have appliances serviced in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions
- Never leave your home with appliances such as heaters, ovens and stove-tops operating
- Do not place fan heaters, televisions and electrical equipment in areas with restricted airflow as overheating may occur
- Keep all combustible material (e.g. clothes, bed linen, curtains and tea towels) away from stove-tops, heaters and lamps as heat build-up can cause fires
- Clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer after each use and ensure the load goes through a full cycle to allow the dryer to cool down
- Ensure you have the correct bulb size and rating (in watts) fitted in lamps according to manufacturers’ specifications
- Remove any build-up of materials around the electric motor of exhaust fans (e.g. fluff, dust, lint, etc)
- Regularly clean range hood filters
- Install a ventilation system, flue or exhaust fan in the kitchen to remove fumes while cooking
- Switch off and unplug your toaster before trying to remove toast, muffins or crumpets that are caught in the toaster
- Remove breadcrumbs from the toaster regularly as a build up can be hazardous
Around your home
- Portable generator sets can be just as dangerous as mains supply if misused. Before connecting to house supply, check with your electricity supply authority.
- Use only approved hand-lamps, which are fitted with guards to protect the lamp. Home made hand-lamps have caused many fatalities.
- Use electric arc welders with care – human contact between the electrode and the work can be fatal. Strictly observe established safety precautions.
- All outdoor electrical appliances must conform to safety standards, i.e. be double insulated
Electricity and kids
Teach children that electrical appliances, cords, switches and outlets are not toys. Safety shuttered outlets as well as plastic covers for ordinary outlets are available. Electric blankets are not recommended for use by babies or young children, who may wet the bed.
If your power fails!!
Switch off all heating appliances if the power fails – fires have been caused when the power returns unexpectedly. Combustible material must be kept well clear of all heating appliances.
If you receive a shock
Any tingle or slight shock from an electrical appliance should be regarded as a warning. Advise your electricity authority or a registered electrical contractor immediately. Always disconnect the appliance from the power source before touching the appliance, and label it clearly to prevent anyone else from using it until it has been repaired and tested or replace it completely.
Even if you consider yourself to be handy around the home, DO NOT attempt electrical work of any kind. ALWAYS use a licensed registered electrical contractor - knowledge and experience of that person is your best protection.
Emergency procedures – helping others and protecting yourself
If someone receives an electric shock, the person is electrified until released. Take precautions to prevent receiving a shock yourself by immediately switching off the electricity where practical. The person must be pulled or pushed clear of hazard using dry non-conducting material such as wood, rope, clothing, rubber or plastic. DO NOT use metal or anything moist. Where necessary, prevent the person from sustaining further injury by falling. Send for an ambulance or a doctor immediately. The first 3 minutes are vital – act immediately to assess their level of consciousness and then, if person is not breathing, commence resuscitation.
How safe is your home’s wiring?
How old is your home? Has the electrical wiring been checked recently by an electrical expert to make sure it is safe and poses no danger to your family, yourself and visitors? If your home is more than 25 years old, the electrical wiring needed for your lights, cooker, and other electrical equipment and appliances may be potentially unsafe. The wiring could be deteriorating and unable to cope with the requirements of a modern household and your home could catch fire because of faulty and/or unsafe wiring.
Water and electricity
Water and electricity do not mix well. Use these simple tips for ensuring that electrical appliances are used safely near water:
- Never touch anything electrical with wet hands or bare feet
- Never use any electrical appliance near water
- Do not use portable heaters in bathroom areas. Instead, you should have either a strip heater installed high on the wall or a ceiling unit installed by a registered electrical contractor
- Be extremely careful when using appliances connected to power points near sinks, baths or swimming pools
- Switch off and unplug all portable electric appliances, such as hairdryers, shavers, etc after use
- If an electrical appliance has been immersed in water it must be discarded immediately
- Do not use extension leads or power leads in wet areas unless specifically designed to do so
- It is safe practice to wear rubber or plastic soled shoes when using electrical appliances in laundries, on concrete floors or out of doors. Many victims of serious and fatal electrical accidents are barefooted.
- Never leave an electrical appliance where it can fall into the bath or basin, or leave them unattended with children. Always unplug after use.