Electricity is something which should always be treated with the utmost respect in order to keep homes and businesses safe.
According to the charity Electrical Safety First, electricity is a major cause of accidental fires in UK homes, causing almost half of them – which is more than 20,000 a year.
In addition to this, around 70 people are killed and 350,000 seriously injured due to an electrical accident in the home.
Because of all of the above, it’s vital to use an experienced professional electrician when having any electrical services or repairs carried out.
It’s also important to look out for electrical faults and have them dealt with as soon as possible.
This month is officially UK National Safety Month which focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.
As such, we’ve put together a list of common electrical faults to watch out for and things you should avoid doing to help prevent the damage that electricity can cause.
Common electrical faults and dangers
In addition to having your electrics properly installed and well maintained, these 12 tips will help you to ensure that your home is electricity safe:
- Faulty plugs sockets, switches and cables can lead to fires and electric shocks – be vigilant for burn marks, buzzing sounds, unusual heat and blown fuses.
- Ensure cables are not worn or damaged in any way.
- Never overload an adaptor or use an adaptor plugged into another adaptor. If you find you need more sockets, they can be easily installed by a qualified electrician.
- Ensure plugs and adaptors are safe – cheaper options are rarely the safest and plugs should be 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.
- Don’t allow small fingers near to plug sockets – these should be properly covered by a safety cap
- Only use electrical gardening equipment outdoors in dry weather.
- Never dry washing on an electric heater.
- Make sure electrical items are switched off when not in use – especially those that get hot, such as straighteners and hair dryers.
If you have any doubts about the safety of your wiring and electrical appliances, it’s important to ensure you use a registered electrician to check that it is in good working order.