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8 Most Dangerous Home Electrical Hazards

Posted on 28 August, 2016 at 19:10


With our modern reliance on electricity, there are potential electrical safety hazards in any home, office, or factory. Fortunately, these hazards can be eliminated or reduced by staying aware and taking steps to eliminate their dangers, ideally with the assistance of an electrician in Nelson. These are eight of the most dangerous electrical hazards that could arise in any Nelson home.

ELECTRICAL HAZARDS IN THE HOME

1. Poor Wiring and Defective Electric Wires:


Good quality wiring that conforms to safety standards is vital for safety. Poor wiring can increase chance of fire, power surges, arc faults, and other serious consequences. For this reason, it’s always best to avoid do-it-yourself electrical work and get a professional qualified registered Master electrician in Nelson to perform electrical wiring around the house.

Damaged, worn, cracked or corroded electrical wires can increase the chance of electrical accidents. Have a qualified electrician in Nelson check your wiring on a regular basis to ensure wiring is safe. If you need to, upgrade and replace old and faulty wires.

Some hazards include:

Loose or improper connections, such as electrical outlets or switches

Frayed appliance or extension cords

Pinched or pierced wire insulation, which could occur from, for example, a chair leg sitting on an extension cord

Cracked wire insulation caused by heat, age, corrosion or bending

Overheated wires or cords

Damaged electrical appliances

Electrical wire that has been chewed by rodents

2. Outlets Close to Water

Outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, and other living areas with water should be installed a fair distance away from the water source. As water conducts electricity, keeping outlets away from water reduces the chance of electric shock.

Never use a radio, hair dryer, phone, or other device in the bath, near the pool, or anywhere with a wet floor.

3. Wet Hands

Similarly, electrical appliances should never be handled with wet hands as this heightens the chance of getting an electric shock. Yet too many of us tend to reach for the hair dryer with wet hands out of the shower. Keep appliances far away from sinks, bathtubs, showers, and taps.

4. Pouring Water on Electrical Fires

A common error is pouring water on electrical fires. If an electrical fire does occur, avoid pouring water on the flames as water will further fuel the fire and could cause electrocution. Keep a fire extinguisher on site if you’re worried about electrical fires and use that instead of water in times of emergency. If you don’t have one nearby, turn off your electrical power, evacuate your home and call the fire brigade.

5. Inquisitive Young Children

Young babies and toddlers tend to be extremely inquisitive and keen to explore their world. While it’s always best to supervise children of this age all the time, parents and adults expecting children at their house can take extra measures to protect young children.

Any electrical outlet at their height and within their reach can be protected with plastic closures. These fit straight over the socket, prevent sharp objects and fingers from going into the socket. Unprotected sockets can lead to serious injury.

6. Extension Cords

Extension cords should be carefully fixed in place where possible to reduce the chance of tripping or accident. Use plastic socket closures on unused sockets. Don’t use extension cords as a permanent substitute for additional power sockets, and avoid using them for too many appliances at once.

7. Lightbulbs

We don’t often think of lightbulbs as being electrical hazards, but the potential for an electrical fire arises when lightbulbs are kept near flammable materials. These can include beds, drapes, plastics, or other items such as upholstery.

Lights, like all sources of electricity, can also cause electric shock, so ensure you always turn the light switch off before replacing a light bulb, and never replace a light bulb or touch a light switch with wet hands. Always ensure you use a light bulb with the correct wattage to prevent overheating.

8. Covered Electrical Cords and Wires

Heavy covering of wires can cause the cords to overheat, which could lead to an electrical fire. Keep cords and wires away from other items and keep them uncovered.

Similarly, make sure that items like computers and televisions have enough space around them for ventilation, to prevent them from overheating.

SAFETY TIPS

One of the best ways to reduce risk of death from electric shock in your home is to install a safety switch, also called a residual current device (RCD). However, never try to do any electrical work on your own. If you think there are hazards present in your home, contact a licensed electrician in Nelson to help you resolve them.

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