Monday, 24 June 2013

Electrical dangers around the home

Electricity improves our daily lives - but only when used safely. Don’t create hazards by overloading sockets, and never ignore warning signs like burning smells, sounds of arcing (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping. Electrical accidents are most likely to happen when equipment is damaged or misused. Failure to correct the problem could have devastating effects. This sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised how many of us fail to follow basic safety guidelines.

When did you last check the condition and safety of your plugs, sockets and flexible cables?
Damaged plugs, sockets and flexible cables can cause electric shocks, burns and fires. For you and your family’s safety:
  1. Check the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing, circuit-breakers tripping or if it feels hot.
  2. Remove plugs from sockets carefully. Pulling out a plug by the cable puts a strain on it, and could damage the contact between the plug and the socket. This could result in the plug overheating, its wires becoming loose or an electric shock (if the earth wire is disconnected).
  3. Use plugs with the British Standard safety mark - they have live and neutral pins with insulating sleeves that allow you to put them in and pull them out of sockets safely.
  4. Always replace damaged cables immediately. Touching exposed live wires may give you an electric shock or you could even be killed.

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