It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking of electricity in the same way that we might think about the water in our taps. That is, that it is an abundant resource that is always reliable and safe to use at any given moment. However, this attitude towards electricity could be a bit skewed.
You see, electricity is only as safe as the systems we have in place to distribute it. Any minor issue within that electrical system around the home can lead to damaged property or loss of life. That’s why it’s important to always ensure that your home electrical systems are safe and that you are handling them with care.
Here at TRS Electric in Huddersfield, we are dedicated to keeping our community safe. So, let’s take a look at some basic ways you can keep yourself and your electrical systems safe around the home.
The General Home Space
Here are a few tips for keeping yourself safe around the home as you go about your daily life:
- Always Check Cords and Cables –
Plugging in an appliance and forgetting all about it is a fault that all of us fall into. It’s all too easy to simply forget that they are even plugged in! But, you never know what kind of friction or pests could be chewing away at your cables over time. Always check to make sure your cables are free from damage on a regular basis.
- Unplug Appliances When Not in Use –
Appliances will continue to draw on power even when not being used if they are plugged in. The coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc,. Will all cost you money even while sitting dormant. But, they are also at a higher risk of creating trouble. An unplugged appliance is a 0% risk of electrical fire or socket overload.
- Clean Your Appliances Regularly –
From the exhaust fans on your hobs to the dust that builds up on your toaster or refrigerator. This dust can become a very serious fire hazard that will ignite at the first sign of a spark. Always take the time to dust your appliances and clean your exhaust fans throughout the house when you can.
- Avoid Socket Overload –
A lot of us love to use power strips and extension cords to get the most out of our electrical systems. Plugging in multiple devices and appliances at once can seem efficient, but is actually very dangerous. You should always avoid overloading your sockets whenever possible. Check to ensure they are not warm to the touch and avoid plugging multiple high wattage items like space heaters into the same socket.
The Kitchen & Bathroom
The kitchen and bathroom are going to be two of the most used areas of your home. Here are a few tips to keep them specifically safe:
- Ensure Your Switches and Sockets Are Properly Placed –
Water and electricity are not exactly best friends–especially when it comes to your safety. That’s why all sockets and switches should be at a minimum 30cm from the sink or water source. Always ensure that your bathroom/kitchen appliances, switches, and sockets are a safe distance away from water. Bathroom sockets in particular should always be covered with a water tight seal and placed far from the sink.
- Dry Your Hands! –
You are going to be washing your hands a lot in the bathroom and kitchen. That water should always be properly dried and removed before you touch any electrical socket, switch or appliance.
- Avoid Portable Appliances –
Small handheld electronic items such as hairdryers, irons, flatirons, etc,. Should be away from water at all costs. It may seem easier to use these items in the bathroom, but any amount of moisture on them can start a fire in the blink of an eye. Use these items away from the bathroom!
- Check for Grease or Dust Buildup –
Bathrooms and kitchens can get pretty dirty in a short span of time. The kitchen especially sees a lot of grease and oil buildup after just one batch of chips! So, always try to keep your surfaces clean of any grease or dust that might become a fire hazard in the event of a spark.
The outside of the home is just as prone to electrical risk as the inside. Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself against these hazards:
- Be Careful With Garden Lighting –
Garden lighting may be beautiful to look at, but it needs to be properly installed. If you feel like putting some lighting in your outdoor area, always hire a professional. This will ensure that the lights are waterproof, properly wired, and devoid of any hazards that could destroy your home.
- Properly Store Equipment –
Things such as electrical hedge trimmers, grass cutters, saws, etc,. Should all be stored away from moisture and out of the elements. You should also take the time to inspect each and every power tool that you use for moisture or pest damage before plugging them in. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Unplug During Maintenance! –
This is perhaps the most important of all pieces of advice for electrical equipment in general, not just the garden. Unplug all of your tools and appliances before you clean or repair them in any capacity. Any amount of tinkering or cleaning can set off a spark that can harm you and damage your property. Always unplug before any maintenance is done!
A lot of household electrical safety can be boiled down to simply stopping what you are doing, and taking the time to examine the electrical system. Sometimes just taking a moment to inspect can prevent a massive problem down the road. In short, keep your appliances properly stored, cleaned, and well maintained in order to prevent any harm to you or your property moving forward.