According to a recent report commissioned by the Australian government it was found that 15 people are killed and over 300 hospitalised each year due to electrical accidents within the home. Home electrical faults are also the number one cause of house fires too. Although it’s now a current requirement to fit safety switches to power sockets in new build homes, many older homes (around 40%) in certain states just don’t have them. Although it’s fair to say that the government could do more to change these figures, homeowners could also do more to ensure that they remain electrically safe. With this in mind, here are 5 tips to take on board that can improve electrical safety in the home.
Tip 1 – Carry out regular checks
You don’t have to be a qualified electrician to be able to carry out regular checks on your electrical system. On the contrary you just need to recognise the signs that there might be a potential problem. Blackening around the sockets, burning smells when you plug an appliance in and frayed wiring can all cause potential accidents so as soon as you spot a problem, call out the professionals who can sort it out.
Tip 2- Never overload sockets
One of the most dangerous problems is a socket that’s overloaded. If for instance you have extension cables plugged directly into other extension cables, it’s likely to exceed the maximum current rating for that socket and may even cause it to overheat. Instead, and as a general rule of thumb, use only one extension lead per socket.
Tip 3 – Fit double sockets
If you have to replace sockets or fit new ones, always fit double sockets. This will reduce the need for multi-socket adaptors and extension leads
Tip 4 – Fit an RCD
If your property doesn’t have a Residual Current Device (RCD) it’s highly recommended that you get one or possibly two installed. An RCD is basically a safety device that prevents electrocution. They’re generally fitted at the meter box and will immediately cut the flow of electricity should there be a power surge. Just like a smoke alarm, they also have a button that can be tested periodically.
Tip 5 – Change old wiring
If your home contains black rubber wiring, then chances are that it’s over 40 years old. If this is the case, then it needs changing. Most rubber compounds become brittle with age and rubber wiring is no exception, as a result it could be an accident waiting to happen.
If you need more advice on how to keep your home electrically safe or would like to hire the services of a skilled master electrician to help you to enact any changes then Static Electrics are waiting for your call. Having been in the industry for many years, our technicians have the ability to tackle any electrical problems. Contact our Sunshine Coast office on 07 5445 8305 and let us show you what we can do.