There is no doubt that electricity plays an important role in our lives; it powers lighting, provides us with heat and allows public transport, including trains, buses, trams and even cars, to function. It enables traffic lights to smooth traffic flow, and without it there’d be no television.
In fact, electricity plays such an important role in our lives, it’s often easy to forget that it can be dangerous. Data from UK charity Electrical Safety First shows that 28 people died from fatal electric burns in 2010, while over 2.5 million suffered an electric shock – 350,000 of which suffered serious injury.
So, if you were in any doubt about the serious nature of electricity in the home, don’t be. It is dangerous, and it can kill. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to minimise the risk. Check your home for the following electrical hazards, especially if you have children:
1. Badly Installed Wiring or Electrical Cables
Badly installed or defective wiring increases the chances of power surges and arc faults, which are the number one reason for electrical fires in the home.
For that reason, you should always ensure your wiring is carried out by a professional NICEIC certified electrician. At B&D electrical contractors in Liverpool, we are fully trained and insured to carry out rewiring to the latest IEE (IET) wiring regulations (BS 7671).
2. Exposed Sockets
If you have young children in the home, you need to take extra precautions. Children like nothing more than sticking their fingers in places they shouldn’t. Electric sockets are a prime example. Children are too young to know the dangers, so don’t take the risk. Always cover your electrical outlets with baby safe socket covers.
3. Overloaded Extension Leads
Too many plugs and not enough sockets; we’ve all been there. However, extension leads are a major cause of house fires. It’s all too easy to overload extension cords with too many appliances.
Extension cords have maximum current rating limits, the trouble is not all appliances use the same amount of current. Going over your extension cord’s current limit will cause it to overheat and start a fire. Here’s a handy socket calculator to ensure you stay within safe current limits.
4. Wet Hands
It might sound obvious, but how many times have you washed your hands while making dinner then plugged the food processor in? If you do that, you’re vastly increasing the chances of receiving an electric shock. Always keep electrical appliances away from sinks, bathtubs, showers and taps and dry your hands before handling them.
5. Squashed Electrical Cords
Is your TV sitting on the power cable? Squashing electric cables with heavy objects causes the cord to overheat, increasing the risk of fire. Always ensure that electrical cords are left uncovered, with plenty of ventilation to prevent overheating.
If you would like further information on reducing the risks in your home or you would like us to come out and give you an electrical safety audit, contact us for more information.