Electricity is one of the many lynchpins of the modern world. However, it requires a high degree of precautions. When handling electricity, your safety and that of the people around you should not be compromised. It helps to know some ground rules in handling electricity.
5 Electrical Safety Tips
Here are some tips to prevent electrical oversights and emergencies:
1. Replace Damaged Power Cords
Always remember to immediately replace damaged power cords. If you see exposed copper wires from your power cords or there is a burnt portion along the cord, head out to the nearest cable store and buy a new one.
Damaged power cords do not only cause adverse effects on your appliances but may result in more specious accidents, like electric fire, shock, short circuit or electrocution. While some people may insist on using damaged power cords until they no longer work, it may be best to stop and think about the dangers they may pose on your life and property.
2. Fix Flickering Lights
In most cases flickering lights mean loose wiring along the circuit or in your appliances and fixtures. In some cases, the bulb may be loose or perhaps it has been there for ages. Essentially, there is an inconsistent flow of energy that causes inconsistent light output.
When your lights start flickering, the first thing to do is to turn off the switch and tighten the bulb. Then turn on the switch and observe how the light behaves.
If it continues to flicker, buy a new bulb and change the old one. Check once again, if it is still flickering, it is best to call an electrician to check on the electrical wirings and connections. If there is a need to change the power cords, do so.
3. Create Grounded Outlets
Many modern households and businesses are equipped with grounded outlets which are a third small hole at the bottom of each plug-in area. They help ensure that appliances do not get or give off an electrical shock when in use.
If your outlets are not grounded, you can ask your trusted electrician to help you create grounded outlets to ensure that your appliances will not cause any danger to your property.
4. Use Appliances with Correct Voltage Requirement
One of the causes of an electrical fire in households is using appliances that cannot take the amount of voltage. An appliance designed for a 110-120VAC can be damaged or cause accidents when plugged on a 220-240 voltage connection.
If you purchased an appliance from another country that requires a different voltage, it may be best to buy a transformer that can either step up or step down the power supply.
5. Check Your Outlets Regularly
Regularly go around your house or office and check all power outlets. Check if they seem to have burnt plug-in holes or if the outlets feel hot. If these signs are evident, call an electrician immediately and have the outlets checked. If there is a need to replace them, do so.
Other Reminders to Ensure Electrical Safety
Aside from the tips mentioned above, below are some reminders that you may want to consider to prevent any electrical accidents:
- Childproof your home, especially power outlets that are in plain view;
- Have an appropriate fire extinguisher ready at all times;
- Keep your power outlets and extensions from water;
- NEVER overload your outlets;
- Do not use appliances with frayed cords, damaged insulation, or broken plugs;
- Use extension cords properly;
- Keep power cords out of children’s reach;
- Do not hesitate to call an electrical expert to check on your power lines, outlets, cords, fuse boxes, transformers and extensions;
- Unplug appliances and electronics when they are not in use;
- Cover exposed wires with electrical tape;
- Learn how to use lockouts to de-energised your equipment; and
- Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCIs, especially in bathrooms and kitchen.
How can I make sure that my child is safe from electrical accidents?
Children typically listen to their parents or teachers for grade-schoolers. To help prevent untoward accidents, orient your children with the things they need to observe when dealing with electricity.
You can set the following DOs and DON’Ts for your kids:
- DO NOT insert your finger or anything into outlets;
- DO avoid broken or unsecured power lines on the streets;
- DO NOT play with electrical appliances or devices without adult supervision;
- DO read the electrical warning signs and strictly follow them;
- DO NOT fly kites or play games near power poles;
- DO stay away from transformers, substations and fuse boxes;
- DO NOT climb or go near trees that have grown through power lines;
- DO know how to properly unplug appliances;
- DO NOT run the toaster or microwave oven with metal inside.
Nothing is more important than making sure that your family is safe at all times. Remember to follow these tips to prevent electrical fire or any other fire-related accidents from happening.
The best thing that you can do as a homeowner is to familiarise yourself with your home’s electrical system. Make sure that you have electrical tools handy in case you may need to fix any wiring or lighting systems at home.
You can also check the powerlines within your vicinity to ensure that your surrounding is free from falling power lines. If you see any power line or pole that may pose danger to your property or neighbourhood, contact an electrical expert right away.
Learn more about how you can protect your home or business from electrical emergencies, contact Workplace Emergency Management today!