With our ever-growing dependence on electricity, there are potential safety hazards in any home or business. We use it for cooking our food, heating our homes, and powering our electronics. However, it is important that we approach with caution because as fascinating as electricity is, it has its hazards. Fortunately, this can be eliminated by staying aware and taking small measures to eliminate their dangers, ideally with the assistance of a qualified electrician. These are 7 electrical hazards that could arise in any home.
1. Overloading Power Outlets
When fitting wiring into the electrical box, it’s important to make them relatively tight for the sake of safety and organisation. However, any local electrician will confirm that it’s important to leave some breathing room. This should ideally be around three to six inches to avoid any tension in the fuse box.
If the wires are cut too short, you will experience a poor connection from the electrical box. More worryingly, this can become a significant fire hazard. While a splice may correct minor mistakes, it’s always best to cut the wires to the right length from the start before confirming a suitable layout.
Furthermore, when working on the wiring and connectors of the electrical box, it’s imperative that you wear protective gear. This is the only way to prevent potentially fatal electrical shocks.
2. Wet Hands
Electrical items should never be handled with wet hands as this increases the chance of getting an electric shock. Too many of us tend to reach for the hair dryer with wet hands out of the shower. Keep your electrical appliances a safe distance away from bathtubs, sinks and showers.
3. Defective Electric Wires
Damaged electrical wires can increase the chances of electrical faults. Insulation when defective results in open live wires that may cause short circuits or electric shocks. Have a qualified electrician check your wiring If old wires are found, replace them.
4. Incorrect Grounding
When electricity flowing through a circuit lacks a path to the ground, as a result of improper grounding, it must find an alternative path. The electricity finds an alternative path by jumping from an appliance socket or switch to a finger and can cause electrocution.
5. Operating an Unsafe Appliance
Whether it is a toaster that smokes or iron that constantly trips a circuit breaker, malfunctioning appliances are unsafe. To avoid an electrical fire, shock or injury, don’t use faulty appliances.
If a faulty appliance starts to malfunction while in use, go to the electrical switchboard and turn off the circuit breaker and proceed to unplug the appliance. Either dispose correctly of the appliance or professionally repair it.
6. Noticing a ‘burning smell’ in your home
If there is a burning smell in your house, do not ignore it! It may indicate you have an electrical fault somewhere in the house which could potentially cause a fire risk.
Take a note of where the smell is coming from – is it coming from an appliance or a light fitting? Call a licensed electrician in Bayside and ask them to investigate.
The cause of a burning smell can be a few things including an overloaded circuit, faulty appliance or wiring that is exposed or damaged.
7. Child Safety
Young children are naturally curious. Young kids and babies are always under a threat of fatal electrical hazard because they are not always aware of the consequences of their actions. Electrical outlets at knee height must be protected with plastic closures that fit snugly and cannot be removed easily or alternatively be replaced with EXTRA-SAFE powerpoints that prevent sharp objects or fingers going into the socket.