Electrical appliances, plugs and cables that are old or poorly wired can be a real danger. Just because there’s no flame, doesn’t mean there’s no fire risk. Find out what to check for to ensure your appliances don’t put you or your family or housemates at risk from fire.
What to check for
There are particular danger signs to look out for on all electrical items you have around your home. If you think something needs fixing or changing, do it straight away.
Plugs and sockets
For plugs and sockets, keep an eye out for the following:
- hot plugs or sockets, scorch marks, fuses that often blow, or flickering lights – they are all signs of loose wiring or other electrical problems
- badly wired plugs – any coloured wires sticking out could come loose and debris could also get into the plug
- overloaded sockets – plugging too many electrical appliances into one socket can lead to overheating
Cables and leadsThe risks with cables and leads include:
- getting frayed and damaged – make sure the outer covering of all power leads is in good condition and replace if necessary
- being badly positioned – they shouldn’t be anywhere that they could be tripped over, or near water, cookers or other sources of heat
- running them under rugs or carpets where they can wear through without anyone noticing – position them elsewhere
AppliancesFor electrical appliances, you should never:
- get them wet – this includes plugs and sockets, so don’t put a vase of flowers on top of the TV, for example
- leave them on at night – unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers
- put anything in the microwave that is made of metal, or has a metallic finish or parts