Electrical Safety at Home – Keeping You and Your Family Safe

- by Becky Hall
How To Save Money On Fixing Home Appliances – Chapter Twenty Five

Electrical safety in the home is crucial for keeping you and your family safe, but do you actually do anything about it? We have put together a quick and easy checklist to help you get your home safe and sound.

Electrical safe at home - Cashfloat Electrical safe at home - Cashfloat

It’s very easy to forget how dangerous electricity can be. We use it every day and it’s easy to take for granted. Keeping you and your family safe in the home is easy if you follow some simple rules and make some simple safety checks.

Never try to fix an electrical appliance without switching it off. It is also essential to make sure that the electricity and the appliances in your home have been installed safely. Always use a registered electrician to install new appliances. If in doubt ask to see proof of qualifications.

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How to ensure electrical safety at home

Maintaining correct electrical safety will not only keep you and your family safe, but it will also save you money by avoiding unnecessary repairs caused by to electrical fault damage. It is especially important to check your property if you have recently bought a new house, or have moved from one rented property to another. Here are some simple checks you can make to ensure that you are safe.

Simple electrical safety checks

Electrical safety in the kitchen

Many accidents and fires start in the kitchen. Hence, this is one area where it is essential to keep to some ground rules. The combination of water and electricity is always a dangerous one. In the kitchen, there are more opportunities for these two elements to mix. By keeping to some simple good habits, you can reduce the risk of danger from electrical appliances in the kitchen.

Switches and plug sockets in the kitchen

To mitigate the possibility of water coming into contact with sockets or switches make sure to fit them at least 30 centimetres from the sink. Appliances which are beneath worktops should have a separate fuse circuit as it may be difficult to reach the socket in an emergency.

Cables and leads in the kitchen

Make regular checks to extension leads that are used on appliances such as kettles and toasters, that they are in good condition. Avoid wrapping wires around appliances that are still hot. Also, do not touch electrical appliances with wet hands. Keeping the grill clean is another good tip to maintain electrical safety as this will prevent a build up of fat which could catch fire. Make sure you have a good smoke detector that is in good working order. This will help to keep you, and your family safe should the worst happen, and a fire breaks out.

5 Tips To Electrical Safety At Home - Cashfloat 5 Tips To Electrical Safety At Home - Cashfloat

Electrical safety in the garden

Mowers, strimmers and hedge trimmers

Garden appliances like electric lawnmowers make cutting the grass a much simpler task. But, it is very easy to overlook the fact that proximity to the wet ground increases the chance of an electric shock.

So, the first rule here is not to use electrical appliances when the ground is wet. Allow the lawn to dry before you start cutting completely. Make sure that there is an RCD safety cut out on the mower. In the event of you accidentally cutting the cable, the mower will stop working. The RCD will protect you from an electric shock that could be lethal.

Ensure that you follow the manufacturers instructions when using mowers, hedge trimmers and strimmers. Always wear goggle and gloves and also wear the correct footwear. No matter how much they may want to help, you must always keep children away from electric appliances in the garden.

Garden ponds with electric pumps and lights

Electric pumps installed in ponds should have an RCD cut out. You must test it regularly. Keep the pump clean and in good working order. As long as it is a good quality item it should prove no problem.

If a problem does arise, get a qualified electrician to make the repair. It is worthwhile taking out a small loan and a qualified electrician, rather than risk your family’s safety. You should not attempt to fix a water pump yourself as the mix of water and electricity is too dangerous.

Lights in the garden

Lights in the garden are a great idea. As long as you have purchased good quality weatherproof lights, there should be no problem. A registered electrician should do all installations out of doors. But, you can do regular checks to ensure that the lights are clean and do not have any cracked or worn cables or switches. Make sure to turn off the power before you replace the bulbs.

Over 50% of electric shocks happen when  people attempt DIY appliance repair. Cashfloat Over 50% of electric shocks happen when  people attempt DIY appliance repair. Cashfloat

DIY electrical repairs

DIY electrical repairs can be tricky. Many people may feel that they are competent enough to do some simple home appliance repairs. Before making any attempts at home repairs, it is worthwhile thinking about the electrical safety statistics. These show that most electric shocks occur while a DIY home repair is underway. Cutting through cables, drilling into wiring in the walls and trying to effect a repair while the appliance is still plugged in are just some of the causes of fatal electric shocks that occur every year in homes.

You can safely tackle some simple repairs or maintenance tasks. You can research some of these using the many YouTube video tutorials available online. But, before trying your hand at DIY think very carefully about the level of expertise that you have. Never attempt any repair while an appliance is plugged in. This is life threatening.

Don’t become part of the fatal statistics

Some accidents occur when enthusiastic DIYers cut through a cable or even trip over cabling that has not been safely stowed away.

The final thing to think about is insurance. Many insurance policies will not pay out if an unqualified person undertakes electrical work. A registered electrician should always fit appliances into bathrooms and any new installation of cabling.

Did you know? There are over 37,000 home fires in the UK, most are caused by electrical misuse - Cashfloat

Electrical safety at home summarised

There are hundreds and thousands of house fires in the UK each year. These fires kill up to 70 people and leave more than 350,000 with severe injuries.

With the massive increase in the use of electrical appliances, it’s no wonder that there are so many house fires each year. Furthermore, the risk of electrical fire is increasing. Ensure that you are aware of some of the simple things listed above that will help to keep you and your family safe. Then, the best option for repairs is to rely on a qualified electrician.

Make sure that you know how to turn off the electricity at the mains. Also check that your fuse box has an RCD which will cut off power in the event of a fault. Get the wiring in your home checked at least every ten years and make sure that everyone in the home is aware of the dangers of electricity and how it can kill.

Applying common sense when using essential electrical appliances will help you to enjoy all the benefits of modern living without putting yourself and your family in danger. Plus, it will save you from needing a fast payday loan to help in the case of an electrical emergency.

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About The Author
Becky Hall
Becky transitioned from accounting to financial blogging unexpectedly after earning a first-class degree in Business and Accounting. Initially a freelance bookkeeper, Becky’s exposure to frequent cash flow issues among clients sparked her interest in financial education.
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