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Everybody wants to feel safe at home, wrapped up in a cosy blanket watching the new binge-able Netflix series with family.
However, just last year nearly 20,000 domestic fires began because of faulty electricals. Without becoming too morbid, let’s take a look at the Electrical Safety First statistics for 2019. We can see that a whopping 46.5% of these fires were due to misuse while the other fires came about through faults.
So, without further ado, I’m here to let you in on 9 top tips for keeping your house in one piece by maintaining electrical safety at home! Because, we all deserve piece of mind.
1. First and foremost, water and electricals don’t mix!
The importance of electrical safety at home begins with our life-line.Although it may seem obvious, there are many occasions where electrical fires began in the kitchen or bathroom when an appliance, outlet or cable has been exposed to water or condensation.
Make sure that your electricals are kept dry at all times, not only to prevent an accident, but to increase the longevity of your device.
2. What Watt?
This is something that I hadn’t even considered myself until recent times. But, you need to make sure that your appliance, cable, plug and outlet all share the same wattage capabilities.
This is because objects or devices that have a higher wattage that your power supply can overheat, surge or break. All of which can lead to a fire. You’ll find this information written somewhere (you may need your glasses). But, check every time you buy a new bulb or device!
3. Unplug it if you’re not using it
A little life-hack to live by is to get into the routine of making sure that there isn’t a plug in an outlet is it’s not being used. This includes phone chargers, microwaves, computers, lights, etc.
When there is an item plugged in while not being used, it will still draw an electrical current. This could lead to appliances and cables overheating when left for too long. As an additional safety measure you could buy some arc-flash gloves at Unigloves.com, to wear while carrying out any electrical work.
4. Keep your cables tidy
This one rings true for many reasons. Understanding the importance of electrical safety at home can ultimately depend on your cable management capabilities. Messy cables lead to sparks and fire damage, however imply having a youngster or a family pet roaming around a nest of cables can cause serious concern.
If any cables appear chewed through, then have them professionally disposed of and purchase new cables. Any loss of casing will be detrimental to storage, spark reduction and heat resistance while in use.
5. Don’t overload your plug sockets
You’ve probably seen a picture or two of people overloading plug sockets by turning one outlet into a space for ten plugs using one or more extenders.
Although extenders can be a useful and tempting prospect to have all electricals in one place, they can cause the generic household 110 volt outlets to overload. This can cause shortages and fires, especially when a heat-producing appliance is in the mix.
6. Have an electrical inspection carried out
When you move into a new home, or even before you seal the deal, it can be worth hiring an electrical engineer to make sure the house has the all clear.
If there are any faults, you could call an electrician and make the home safe before anyone has been put at risk. Depending on your house, it is recommended to have an inspection carried out every 5 years.
The same rings true for any electrical faults occurring in the house such as sparks, circuit breaker trips, outlets not working, etc. Always get a professional in to do the work for you.
7. Avoid accidents with curious little fingers
Another one of our electrical safety tips at home is all about our little ones. As children are growing, they are more interesting in things they see around the house, including their curiosity on plugs, cables and outlets.
You can purchase outlet caps which are a plastic cap that plug into unused outlets. As well as this, if you are not using a plug or cable, keep them safely stored on a high shelf.
Alternatively, you could contact your local electrician and request installation of a TRR (Tamper Resistant Receptacle). These have a shutter-mechanism inside the outlet that blocks anything apart from the metal prongs of a plug.
8. Always purchase certified electrical goods
Although the pretty bejewelled pink phone charger on Amazon may seem harmless, it is faulty goods such as these that can cause the most issue.
Buy your electrical goods from recognised traders such as your phone shop or an electrical goods store. Let’s not create another great hover board blow-up disaster of 2016, again!
9. Finally, invest in home insurance!
There’s a reason that this is such a popular choice for homeowners across the country, not to mention a legality for landlords. Most home & content insurance policies from AA Ireland will cover electrical repairs due to accidental damage, and you can add it to your plan for a little extra expense on the off chance that it is excluded. It will ensure that your home is covered in the event of accidental damage caused by electrical fires, and more.
So there you have it, our 9 top tips for maintaining your electrical safety for your home and family.