Electricity plays an important part in making the home comfortable. Sadly, it can pose huge threats to the safety of one’s family. To give everyone peace of mind, electrical companies give a list of handy safety advice.
Here are five pieces of electrical advice to steer you in the right direction:
1. Do not overcrowd the power outlet
Everyone has the tendency to plug in all their electronic devices at the most convenient, nearby power outlet. Electrical companies strongly advise to avoid doing this practice, especially if the electronic devices have high voltages each. They explained that all power outlets are programmed to handle limited voltage capacity. Overcrowding the power outlet may cause it to short circuit which can lead to a fire.
As the number of electronic devices increases, it is recommended to add more power outlets around the house. The best option is to use power strips or electrical extensions.
2. Watch out for the extension cord
Aside from adding power outlets, the electrical extension purpose is to stretch the power sources around the house. It contains several electrical sockets, a cord and plug. Though electrical extensions provide convenience, electrical companies see it as a safety hazard. The reason is the electrical extension cord.
The electrical extension cord can cause two possible accidents: tripping and electrical shocks. To avoid experiencing any of these accidents, electrical companies recommend to always check the physical cord for any sign of damages. Also, place it in a safe corner or anywhere around the house that is away from the walking path.
3. Know the best time to upgrade the electrical switchboard
An electrical switchboard is an electrical unit that distributes the electricity to the different rooms of the house. This is advantageous to have at home as it can protect your electronic devices from sudden changes in the electrical current. The good part of an electrical switchboard is it can last for up to approximately 40 years.
When determining the best time to upgrade an electrical switchboard, age is always the first factor that most electrical companies consider. If you are still using the old-style electrical switchboard, electrical companies highly recommend for you to upgrade it. This is because it has a higher risk of electrocution, fire and does not meet the existing Australian Standards.
The most noted difference of the modern electrical switchboard to the older style is the safety switches. These safety switches can turn off the electricity quickly (by 0.03 second) once it detects a sudden change in the electrical current.
Other than age, the other factors that you can check to determine the best time to upgrade your electrical switchboard are the following:
- The switchboard cable is overheating due to insulation damage
- Inconsistent flow of electricity
- There are numerous amounts of contaminants on the surrounding area of the switchboard
- The fuses blow, and the circuit breaker is tripping regularly
4. Child-proof all electrical components
Children are always curious about everything. There will come a time where they may stick their fingers or toys into the power outlet without you noticing. To avoid risking their life, electrical companies come up with effective solutions on how to keep your child safe. These solutions are described as follows:
- Hiding all electrical components behind a piece of furniture or curtains, or by using a sliding outlet cover
The first option is the simplest method with no additional cost. Children’s attention can be easily distracted; therefore, it becomes easier for parents to hide everything and direct their children’s attention elsewhere. But if you want to be on the safe side, you can conceal the power outlets using a sliding outlet cover.
A sliding outlet cover is a safe option for children because when you unplug your device, this cover will automatically close.
- Dispose of all damaged cables
Open wiring and damaged cables may lead to electric shock. To ensure the safety of your child, inspect each electrical cable. If there’s no sign of damages, the next thing you need to consider is its age. An electrical cable commonly lasts up to 20 years, approximately. Older than that, it must be disposed of properly.
- Give your children proper instructions
The best way for children to understand the danger electricity can cause is by teaching them. If your child is old enough, you can teach them about the basics of electrical safety. For example, you can give them instructions about which appliances they can manage by themselves and those that they need assistance from adults.
5. Don’t forget to have regular maintenance
Last on the electrical companies’ list of safety advice is maintenance. Maintenance is the most effective solution for the electrical switchboard to last for a long time. With maintenance, you can expect to know the true condition of your electrical switchboard. If there’s a problem, you can address it immediately and prevent it from leading to a much expensive and long-term problem.
To guarantee accurate diagnosis and solutions implemented, you must hire only a licensed electrician.
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