Varsity Electrical prides itself on making your home safe and comfortable. We also want to ensure your appliances and home is running as efficiently as possible – every little bit counts when it comes to your budget and the environment! that’s why we have compiled this list of essential safety items that can potentially cause major safety problems in your home – the most serious are house fires and electrocution.
We rely on electricity these days – modern life would not be possible without it. We take it for granted as well! We flick a switch and the lights go on and that’s the end of our thinking about electricity – until something goes wrong! We want to make sure that the things that can go wrong do not happen in your house and do not cause fires or electrocution!
Poor wiring and defects in your electrical system
the safety standards for wiring change over time. Often older houses do not comply with modern standards. Because nothing has gone wrong it is easy to forget about the potential danger old wiring and potentially damaged wiring can cause.
Old wiring, wiring faults and defects, and wiring done by non-qualified electricians can lead to fires, power surges, arcing and a lot more. NEVER “do-it-yourself” electrical work! ALWAYS get professional electricians to perform electrical work around your home. You should have regular safety checks in your home if you are serious about saving your life, saving your electrical bill and saving the environment!
Some of the common problems Varsity Electrical finds in many homes (not just older homes) when we do safety checks:
Outlets too close to water
Surprisingly we often see power outlets installed too close to basins or sinks in bathrooms and kitchens! Water conducts electricity and can easily cause an electrical shock if it comes into contact with an appliance. Never use a hair dryer, phone, or radio anywhere near your bathroom sink, the pool or even if the floor is wet!
Again, water conducts electricity and can easily cause an electrical shock if you touch an appliance or power outlet with wet hands! Simple things like drying your hair fresh out of the shower can cause a shock!
Trying to put out electrical fires with water
When an electrical fire does occur (for example, the toaster catches on fire) NEVER try to put it out with water. firstly it will make the fire worse. But even more importantly it can electrocute you! Every house should have a fire extinguisher or fire blanket. If you don’t have these the first thing to do is to turn off the power. If you have a fire blanket and the fire is small you can use that to extinguish the flames. Evacuate your home and call emergency services 000 immediately! After such a fire, even if small, you should have your wiring checked by a professional electrician.
Watch your children at all times
Babies and toddlers love to touch and poke and even lick all the things they find at their height! This includes all of your power points, switches and appliances that are low to the ground. Poking metal items into the power points is unfortunately, a very common cause of accidents for toddlers in the household.
Children should always be supervised. It only takes a second to get something into the power point and disaster can happen! You can also take steps to “baby proof” your home and we strongly urge all expecting parents and parents of toddlers to do so as a matter of urgency!
All electrical outlets at child height can be replaced with EXTRA-SAFE power points. these can simply be changed out for your normal power points. They stop little fingers and sharp items from going into the socket. These simple measure save lives!
Extension cords pose a couple of dangers in your home and should only be used for a short term solution, rather than using them instead of installing proper power outlets. Make sure the extension cords are fixed in place as the other main hazard with them is tripping over them!
Lightbulbs seem simple enough and most of us can change them on our own.
A few things to remember about lightbulbs and changing them…
Don’t have lightbulbs too close to flammable items such as bed clothes or curtains, or plastic items.
Always turn off the light switch when you change the bulb, and never touch the bulb or switch with wet hands. Use the correct wattage of light bulb or it could overheat. Be very careful if your light bulb has broken – ensure the light switch is turned off, especially if it is a two way switch (two different places you can turn the light on/off).
Covering electrical cords and wires
Covering cords and wires with heavy materials can cause them to overheat and melt the insulation – this can lead to electrical fires. Keep cords and wires away from other items and keep them uncovered.
Computers, televisions and other such appliances should have plenty of space for ventilation and overheating prevention.
One of the best ways to reduce risk of death from electric shock in your home is to install a safety switch, also called a residual current device (RCD). However, never try to do any electrical work on your own. If you think there are hazards present in your home, contact a licensed electrician to help you resolve them.
If you need an electrician to come to your home or work, you can call Varsity Electrical on (07) 55220081 to book in one of our qualified electricians – we are gold members of Master Electricians Australia for your peace of mind!