Did you know that May is Electrical Safety Month? There’s no better time to inspect outlets, appliances, and other potential electrical hazards in the home. Electricity is so entrenched in our daily lives that it’s easy to forget that it has the potential to seriously injure or kill someone. Powering our appliances, lighting, heating and cooling doesn’t have to be dangerous. In honor of Electric Safety Month, apply these indoor home electric tips to your maintenance routine today!
We love our appliances and our homes are filled with them, from toasters and heaters to televisions and microwaves, but there are certain precautions relating to appliances that need to be observed to avoid the risk of electrocution.
- Inspect appliances regularly for faulty or damaged plugs, switches and cords and replace them or have them repaired immediately.
- If you do throw them away, make sure they can’t be used by anyone else.
- Switch off and unplug appliances before cleaning them.
- Never poke anything into an appliance such as a toaster.
- Never touch an appliance with wet hands.
- Turn off appliances like air conditioners, heaters and ovens if leaving your home.
- Make sure appliances like televisions and computer monitors that generate heat have several inches of clearance all around for good air circulation.
- Never fold an electric blanket up to store it, as the wires may bend or break.
Cords are how we connect our appliances to the power supply and these too need to be treated with care. Safety tips for electrical cords include the following:
- Extension cords should only be used as a temporary solution and should be placed around walls to prevent tripping, and never under rugs or carpet.
- Always remove a cord from the wall at the plug, as pulling on the cord itself is unsafe.
- Only use extension cords outside that are rated for outdoor use and make sure the connections are protected from the weather.
- Fully unwind cords before use to prevent overheating.
Power Boards & Adapters
We use so many appliances in our daily lives that a single power outlet is often not enough, but caution should be used when employing double adaptors or power boards.
- Never piggy-back a double adapter as it can cause an electrical fire.
- Don’t overload a power board with too many appliances and make sure it has the correct amperage to support the appliances being plugged into it.
- Always use power boards with in-built safety devices such as overload switches.
- Check power boards regularly for signs of scorching or discolouration and replace immediately if discovered.
- Ensure power boards have adequate ventilation to prevent overheating.
- Always turn power boards off at the wall outlet if not in use for any length of time.
Lights may seem benign, but they are also capable of causing electrocution. The following tips should be observed when handling lights of any kind:
- Always turn the light switch off before replacing a light bulb.
- Never replace a light bulb or touch a light switch with wet hands.
- Always use a light bulb with the correct wattage to prevent overheating.
- If painting a ceiling, do not remove the plate around the light, but mask it instead.
- If tiling around light fittings or switches, have the plates removed by a licensed electrician.