Owning your own space and decorating it as your own is one thing, but knowing the nitty gritty to keep it safe is another altogether. And one of the most important aspects of safety is that which you can't often see - the electrics! Whether buying, building, renovating or even if you've lived in your home forever, it's vital to get an electrical safety check completed by a professional including testing things like the wiring, hot water system, fire alarms and gas. Then there's these basics of electrical safety that you and your family need to know in your every day life for a happy, healthy home.
1. Never Overload Your Sockets
You can find out what is alternating current online to help you understand more about electrics but essentially it's important to never overload the sockets in your home, garden, studio or garage. For example, if you have a 4 switch extension lead plugged into every single socket of the house and full of attached equipment such as toasters, computers, and hair dryers, this can be very dangerous. If it looks crazy and cluttered, it is crazy and unsafe. Avoid overloading power points all at once because the electrical current which flows through the outlets can cause a fire, and electrical fires are not put out with water! Something you may not remember in a panic.
Put out electrical fires with an electrical Fire Extinguisher or by smothering with heavy blankets or baking soda. Throwing water on an electrical fire may cause shock or electrocution.
2. Cover unused outlets
Curious little fingers like to get into anything and everything - including power sockets. But whether you believe in using plug-in socket covers for child safety reasons or not, they are handy for a streamlined look whee there are many unused sockets and enclosure types are vital for outdoor power points exposed to rain and moisture. Be sure you are getting those recommended by your electrician for the types of sockets you have, as longer than required pins can cause overheating.
3. Don’t pull the cord
When you have something plugged into the wall and you are ready to pull it out, it is crucial that you don’t pull from the cord itself. Always walk up to the socket and pull the socket out of the wall. If you pull on the cord you may break the connection to your appliance leaving your with dangerous frayed connections or no power. Be careful and always make the extra effort to switch the power off before pulling out from the plug.
4. Keep cables tidy
When we have so many different electrical devices in the house it can be far too easy for them to become tangled, look a mess, and become a potential hazard. To avoid this issue you can buy adjustable strip covers, velcro or zip-tie cable organisers and keep everything hidden from view and tidy. This will also have the added benefit of keeping the cables away from kids and pets and keeping multiple cables from one device together.
5. Look up
If you're on a ladder, on your roof, or have to climb a tree in your back garden for trimming, look out for cables overhead. Remember that power lines often run in the air from building power pole to building and they will sometimes come close to your home. The last thing you want to do is catch one while you are up in a high place! Strong winds and falling tree branches can also cause movement or falling over overhead power lines so be cautious and always call in the professionals to deal with any damage.
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