Electrical fires can cause total devastation throughout homes and businesses, not to mention posing a serious threat to life. For this reason, it’s important to know what the common electrical dangers are which can cause them and, by being aware, lower your chances of such an incident happening to you and those around you.
According to the charity Electrical Safety First, nine out of ten (89%) electrical fires in the UK are caused by electrical products, as opposed to faulty or misused electrical installations. For this reason, it’s vital to look out for any potential electrical faults with your appliances – check them regularly and have any problems dealt with by a qualified electrician as soon as possible.
It’s not only electrical fires which can be caused by ignoring common electrical dangers. Electric shocks and burns can lead to serious injury, or even death, in cases where the current is strong enough to cause heart failure, so it’s important to never take the risk.
We all lead busy lives these days, but never put off getting a problem with an electrical appliance fixed. Use a registered electrician to assess the fault and never attempt to fix the fault yourself, unless you are 100% certain of what you are doing.
Common electrical dangers
To give you a helping hand in spotting any problems with electrical safety, we’ve put together a list of common electrical dangers to watch out for and things to avoid.
In addition to having your electrics properly installed and well maintained, these tips will help you to ensure that the appliances in your home are electricity safe:
- Faulty plugs, sockets, switches and cables can lead to fires and electric shocks. If you spot burn marks, buzzing sounds, unusual heat or blown fuses keep away from the problem and call an experienced electrician to help.
- Ensure electric cables are never allowed to become worn or damaged in any way.
- Never overload an adaptor or use an adaptor plugged into another adaptor. Additional sockets can be easily installed by a qualified electrician.
- Ensure your plugs and adaptors are safe – check they’re marked with British Standard BS 1363.
- Make sure all electrical equipment is properly installed and working correctly.
- Never allow water to come into contact with electricity or electrical appliances.
- Keep metal objects out of toasters and microwaves.
- Never pull a plug out by its cord.
- Keep children away from plug sockets – they should be properly covered by a safety cap.
- Never use a damaged appliance – even if it doesn’t seem to be dangerous.
- Only use electrical gardening equipment in dry weather.
- Never dry washing on an electric heater.
- Make sure electrical items are switched off at the plug when not in use and not left on standby.
- Never leave electrical items which get hot, such as straighteners and hair dryers, check they’re switched off before leaving a room.
- Take extra care when drilling into walls – use an electricity detector to check for any live wires in the walls which you could hit.
Electrical Safety First
The five products that cause the most electrical fires in UK homes are cooking appliances, laundry appliances, lighting, portable heaters and televisions, so be aware of the signs that something might not be right.
If you have any doubts about the safety of your wiring and electrical appliances, it’s important to ensure you find a registered electrician straight away who can check that it is in good working order and fix any problems.
To find out more about how we can help, get in touch with a member of our team today.