Electricity is a major cause of accidental fires in the home. According to the charity, Electrical Safety First, electricity causes more than 20,000 fires a year – almost half of all accidental UK house fires.
20 years ago, the average household had one TV, video and possibly a hi-fi system. Nowadays, the risk is much higher as the average household will have more than one TV, DVD player, microwave, games console, a computer and possibly even an electric heater.
How safe is your home?
Here are ten top tips to make sure your home is electrical safe. Some may be more obvious than others but it’s surprising how many people fail to follow these basic guidelines.
- Ensure all electrical work is carried out by a registered electrician. They have the skills, experience and knowledge to avoid dangers.
- Make sure everyone in the house knows where the mains switch is and ensure it’s easily accessible to turn the electricity off in case of an emergency.
- Faulty and old wiring is a major cause of electrical fires in the home. Routinely check your cables, switches, and sockets regularly. If you’re unsure, ask a registered electrician.
- Don’t overload electrical sockets or extension leads. If unsure, check using the socket overload calculator below.
- If the plug or socket smells like it’s burning, making a buzzing or crackling sound, stop using the appliance immediately, switch off the main fuse box and call a registered electrician.
- If fuses blow, circuit breakers trip, switches get hot or people are shocked, something is wrong – seek expert advice.
- Ensure no wiring is exposed and never touch an exposed wire.
- Keep all electrical appliances away from water.
- Make sure ventilation slots in electrical appliances such as heaters are not covered.
- When doing any DIY in the home such as drilling or hammering in a nail, make sure you know what’s behind the wall as there could be electrical cables or pipework hidden.
Never try to extinguish an electrical fire with water. Make sure you have approved fire extinguishers in the home and you know how to use them.
For a review of your electrical circuits and appliances to ensure you and your family are safe, call Norcroft Energy now on 01226 763 127 to do a safety check on your entire electrical system. Not all electrical faults are obvious. This is of particular importance in older properties and with older appliances where cables and sockets could have become badly worn over time.
Socket Overload Calculator
The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First.
For more safety information visit http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
How safe is your home