Things to Avoid for Electrical Safety in the Home

It would be near impossible to get by without electricity to power all sorts of appliances and devices. While you may take the convenience it provides for granted — don't forget that electricity can be hazardous. Here are several things to avoid to keep safe.

Damaged Appliance Cords

Every time you turn on a device such as a toaster, an electrical current runs from the wiring in your house to the appliance, resulting in crispy toast for you to savour. However, be aware that a dangerous current is passing through the cord of the device. You're protected from electrocution because the live wires inside are wrapped in insulating materials that don't conduct electricity. Thus, it's safe to touch the cable. Therefore, pay attention to frayed cords, as the live wire inside may become exposed. Also, don't leave appliance cords laying across hot surfaces like a stovetop, which can damage the life-saving outer layer.

Combining Water with Electricity

Water and electricity make a dangerous mix. Thus, keep appliances away from sinks and baths, and also make sure your hands are dry before you flick switches. The reason for this is that water is an excellent conductor of electricity, which means that it allows currents to move through easily. If your hands are wet, and you inadvertently touch something live, the current can swiftly travel through wet fingers and into your body where it can cause harm. If you're remodelling your home, make sure that the outlets are not too close to water sources like bathtubs. Your electrician can advise you on the best locations.

Overloading Circuits

Your home's electrical setup is designed to transfer a certain amount of energy. For instance, when it was initially installed, electricians would have estimated the likely appliance types and number that such a dwelling would need to run daily. Thus, a home is set up differently to a business, for instance. If you overload the circuitry by plugging multiple appliances into stacked-up power boards, you can overload the wiring. Generally in such a case, the circuit breakers would trip as they're meant to. However, if they don't, the wiring can overheat and cause a burning smell. In the worst-case scenario, this could start a fire. An electrician can update the setup so that the circuitry can cope with your usage.

Thus, while it's easy to take electricity for granted, don't forget that it can be hazardous. Regularly check appliance cords and replace or fix them if they're frayed or damaged. Also, remember that water and electricity combined can add to the possible danger of electrocution. Lastly, if you're not sure whether your system can supply enough energy safely, contact your electrician who can ascertain whether the current setup can cope.

To learn more about electrical safety, reach out to a local electrician.