7 Quick and Easy Electrical Safety Tips
Looking after your home can be a challenge when there are kids, pets and visitors rushing around the place. Sometimes it’s not easy to keep everything neat and tidy. And that’s fine.
But when it comes to your home electronics, maintenance and security is incredibly important. You want a neat and tidy space that is safe to live in. No tripping hazards, no electrical fire risks, nothing.
The good news is that it’s easy to achieve. With a mini clean up and inspection, you can maintain a safe home with these quick and easy electrical safety tips.
Replace Damaged Cords and Plugs
Forget about the DIY hack of duct tape for fixing frayed or damaged electrical cords. If you’re planning to use the cord or appliance for a long time, this kind of fix is only temporary.
Alternatively, go and purchase a brand new extension cord. That’s always the best option when something is frayed and live wires are exposed.
It’s understandable that you would not want to spend too much money on a new appliance. Therefore, if the cord is damaged on something like a vacuum or television, see if it’s covered by warranty.
It may also be a cheaper solution to contact a dedicated appliance repair person. You can extend the lifespan of your appliance without any band aid repairs.
Do Not Use Damaged Power Points
Power outlets are susceptible to minor damage like cracking and fracturing. It’s also possible for scorch marks to appear if the circuit has been overloaded previously. Faulty plugs can also be to blame.
Typically the damage is more superficial, however, it can be a sign of electrical concerns behind the scenes. Therefore, the best outcome is to always contact a licensed electrician for prompt repairs.
The power outlet should be replaced entirely, with any faulty wiring repaired. The same goes for light switches that are wobbly, damaged or stuck.
Switch Off Appliances When Not In Use
There are two good reasons for switching off your appliances – and unplugging them – when not in use. First, there’s the phantom load. This is the electricity your appliances are still using despite being on standby mode. Sure, it’s a small amount, but you’re still paying for electricity that’s not actually being used.
Meanwhile, these appliances can still short circuit while plugged in. Whether it’s a loose wire in the wall or socket, or a faulty extension cord, something could well trigger a short circuit while you’re at work.
It’s better to just switch off and unplug appliances for complete safety and security.
Never Overload Power Outlets
Your home’s power outlets each deliver a specific amount of amperage. In Australia, three-pin power points are rated for a maximum 10 amps.
That means your concerns are not specifically related to the number of appliances plugged in, but rather the amps required. For example, you could have a power board charging five phones at once and you’ll easily be below 10 amps.
However, piggybacking adaptors and power boards for a TV, computer, monitor, speakers, etc, that could draw on a touch too much power. And if one electrical appliance short circuits, all could be impacted.
Instead, play it safe and keep major appliances on separate outlets, at least where possible.
Maintain a Clean Space
When you get the chance to clean, make sure you vacuum up the dust and rubbish around electrical appliances. We’re talking behind the TV cabinet, around the oven, and even the washing machine. The long-forgotten areas behind furniture are black holes for rubbish.
And if there was a spark – for any reason – flammable particles could prove harmful. The performance of some appliances can also be impacted by dust and dirt, like your fridge or air conditioner. Keep those hidden areas clean.
Minimise Power Board and Extension Cord Usage
Not only can your extension cords prove to be a tripping hazard, but they can easily overload circuits. That’s why you should always minimise the usage of power boards and extension cables.
Alternatively, look at purchasing a quality surge protector power board. It’s an additional layer of protection against electrical surges. The power board will help your prized appliances and gadgets, while some high range models also deliver additional power when a blackout occurs.
Keep Appliances and Devices Safe and Secure
Kids – and pets – are nosy. They love nothing more than investigating every nook and cranny. Little hands also enjoy playing with cool toys, including your prized possessions like tablets and phones.
To keep everyone safe and happy, make sure lightweight appliances are out of reach. Keep the toaster and kettle secure, and don’t leave charging devices within arm’s reach.
Child safe plugs are a helpful addition to any home, too. The affordable plugs can be placed into any exposed power socket, preventing your kids from sticking unwanted objects in. The risk of electrocution is reduced, and they quickly learn there’s no fun to be had.