Electricity is an incredibly dangerous element when you take it for granted. And taking it for granted is easy. We forget how to handle it with care, overloading plug points and leaving electric blankets on as if they cannot cause a fire or electrocuting shock. We forget how easily things can go wrong.
Luckily, the leading Central Coast electricians, Copper Electrical, never forget – and are here to make sure you don’t either. After seeing and solving too many electrical accidents that could have been prevented, they’ve compiled five of the most important electrical safety tips every homeowner should know.
Let’s take a closer look!
#1 Check Your Smoke Alarms
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – but that means nothing if your smoke alarms don’t detect it!
Smoke alarms are there to let you, and anyone in your vicinity, know that there is a fire. Maybe you’re gardening outside or in the shower. Or perhaps you’re sound asleep.
Either way, you need to make sure your smoke alarms are fully functional to ensure they alert you when a fire has started with enough time for you and everyone else to mobilise or evacuate safely.
You can use its ‘test button’ to check or simply light a candle, blow it out, and hold it near your smoke alarm.
#2 Don’t Pour Water On Electrical Fires
In the unfortunate case that an electrical fire is sparked in your home, do not pour water on the flames! Surprisingly, water will actually make it worse.
As water conducts electricity, you’ll be electrocuted very quickly. If an appliance has caught fire, it may seem logical that it won’t electrocute you if unplugged. If you manage to calmly do so while it’s alight, I’m impressed. However, that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of electrical charge and could still shock you.
Pro tip: Fire extinguishers are the best way to put out an electrical fire. If you don’t have one, baking soda can help for small fires.
#3 Liquids And Electricity Aren’t Friends
If the above point didn’t solidify the idea, remember that water, and most liquids, should not come into contact with your electrical appliances and system. To remove any possibility of being electrocuted, make sure you:
- Never touch appliances with wet hands
- Do not use electrical appliances in the bathroom (unless you have specific GFCIs fitted)
- Do not fill your kettle with water if it’s still plugged in
- Do not balance any electrical appliance on or near your bathtub while in use
#4 Safety Switches And Circuit Breakers
Your electrical supply panel should have both circuit breakers and safety switches.
Circuit breakers trip and cut the power when they detect excess current coming from an overload or short to protect your circuitry and wiring. Safety switches detect current leaks and cut the power to prevent you from being electrocuted.
If you lack either one, you’ll need to call an electrician ASAP to have them installed!
#5 Don’t DIY It
The safety of DIY electrical work can never be guaranteed. And trial-and-error has no place around an element that can so easily cause death and destruction.
It is so unsafe that it’s deemed illegal in NSW, with penalties reaching $22,000 for an individual (that’s you). Without experience, training, and an understanding of safety regulations and measures, you could easily electrocute yourself or spark a house fire.
With these tips—and a healthy dose of self-awareness—you should have no problem treating your home’s electrical system and appliances with caution.
However, if you notice any safety hazards or malfunctioning electrical wiring, please contact Copper Electrical.
Our electricians are trained and experienced to inspect, identify, and solve any electrical safety hazards according to the codes and regulations required in the Central Coast. Whether for switchboard upgrades, safety switch installations, smoke alarms, or safety inspections, we’ve got the expertise you need!
Contact us for professional electrical safety services if you’re feeling unsafe or unsure, your safety and satisfaction is our top priority.