Unexpected electrical dangers

Unexpected electrical dangers

Electrical dangers lurk in all homes. Accidents and misuse of electrical appliances can lead to an electrical injury or in some cases death. Even with perfect electricity common sense should still be applied when using electrical appliances.

Don’t chance it

Many electrical accidents happen as the person didn’t realise that they were doing anything wrong. We have some handy hints and tips for staying safe in your home. By following this advice, you will be keeping yourself, your home and your family as safe as possible from the dangers of electricity.

Electricity kills

If you have concerns about your home electrics do not take any chances. From a loose socket to a shower that isn't working there will always be a reason why an electrical item isn't working as it should. It's important not to take matters into your own hands, get a qualified and registered electrician to take a look. It could be a simple solution or possibly a lifesaving one. Electrical accidents cost 1 person their life every week – do not become a statistic!

Electrical fires are now the most common cause of house fires in the UK. From dangerous wiring to faulty appliances, the fire service reports over half of the fires they attend to are electrical related.

We visit may clients around Sleaford to advise on simple home safety guidelines. Here are some of our key Tips

Home electrical safety guidelines

  • Keep Drinks away from electrical appliances

Electrical items are extremely vulnerable to liquid damage. Drinks spilt over items such as computers, laptops, televisions and games consoles can cause an electric shock or even fire which can endanger life. Having a designated place for drinks away from the items reduces the associated risks.

  • Care when removing toast

This may sound like a strange one, however we have witnessed many householders removing toast from the toaster using a knife when the toaster is plugged in.  Whilst you may have been doing this for years it’s a dangerous habit that could cost your life. If the knife (or any other metal implement) comes into contact with the live components found inside every toaster you could get a very nasty electric shock or injury. If you do, on occasion need to remove items from your toaster, never use a metal object and always ensure the toaster is switched off.

  • Do not leave devices plugged in for longer than necessary.

Handheld, chargeable items charge very quickly. Once charged, the chargers can heat up. Left for a long period of time this can overheat and cause an electrical fire and expensive damage to the socket and internal wiring. It's also highly important to use the charger supplied with your device or an approved alternative. Never be tempted to purchase cheaper, inferior charges from dubious sources. Often these products do not meet safety regulations making them very dangerous.

  • Bedtime scrolling

Many of us are guilty of winding down scrolling through our devices such as phones or tablets whilst in bed. Care must be taken if you are putting your device on charge before you fall asleep. The device should be placed on a solid surface and most certainly not under the pillow or bed. On these surfaces any heat generated cannot disperse making the charger and device hotter. This cannot only damage the device battery but also if left over time could cause an electrical fire.

  • Care with cables and sockets

If moving furniture around, ensure that cables are not left trailing across rooms. Electrical appliances should be near an electrical socket. Cables should never be “Hidden” under carpets or rugs; this can cause overheating or fire as well as damage to the cable caused by people walking over them. Ensure that sockets are not over loaded. Extension bars rather than adapters place less strain on socket components which can be damaged by the weight of plug adapters.

  • Never use electrical appliances in the bathroom.

Appliances such as hair dryers, radios and portable heaters should never be taken into the bathroom. Even a splash of water onto an electrical appliance can cause an electric shock. As electrical sockets are rarely found inside bathrooms the wires are often passed under doors causing further hazards and damage to wires.

  • Care when carrying out DIY

DIY electrical work is not recommended. However, it's also important to be careful when drilling. Never just drill and assume, always check there are no live cables running along the wall you would like to drill. You can use a cable detector to ensure its safe to drill. We get increased calls at this time of year to repair cables that have been accidently drilled though. If you hit a cable, you are at serious risk of electric shock or even a fatal injury.

Additional measures to keep safe

Having an RCD fitted in your home can literally be a life saver. If you accidently find yourself in a situation described above the RCD would activate and cut the power in a fraction of a second. An RCD can only be fitted by a qualified and registered electrician as part of a consumer unit upgrade. We are happy to carry out consumer unit inspections in homes in and around Sleaford to assure you that you are safe.