All it takes is one moment for an appliance to blow a fuse and electrocute someone. If you are evaluating the safety of your property, be sure to include electricity in your assessment.
Between 2016 to 2017, ten people died from electrical issues in Australia and New Zealand.
While this number has been steadily decreasing over the past decade, Australians should constantly be aware of electrical system safety.
Electric-related deaths are preventable; follow these tips to ensure that you, your family, and your property are safe and your electrical system offers little to no risks.
Look at Wires From A Pet’s Perspective
Most power outlets are placed closer to the ground, making it harder for adults to see where they are and where they could pose a threat.
Pets and babies are more likely to accidentally bump into or interact with electricity by stepping on a cord or bumping into an outlet.
If you want to see where outlets pose a risk to pets and children, look at your house from their perspective by crawling on the floor.
Add outlet covers and move cords where necessary to minimize risk. Keep electrical appliances far away from water (including dog bowls, bathtubs, etc.) to prevent any accidental spills on cords or wires.
Keep Wiring Updated
If you live in an older house or building, check to see when the electric system was installed and if it has ever been updated.
Old wiring is more likely to become faulty and cause a house fire or electrocution.
Companies relying heavily on digital products and electronic devices should also get a regular test and tag inspections done to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
Recruit an electrician before purchasing a house or to ensure that the wiring on your property is up-to-date and low-risk.
Buy New Electrical Appliances When You Can
Secondhand products may be more cost-effective, but used and worn electrical devices could pose more of a risk to your safety.
Look for products that have been approved by governing officials and contain a regulatory compliance mark (this will usually appear on the back of an outlet and have one to three letters followed a string of numbers).
If cords or frayed or look loose, don’t buy them. Opt for newer, approved electrical appliance before reaching for secondhand or older alternatives. Also, check for appliances reviews before buying the new appliance.
Clean Areas Around Electric Motors
Piles of lint or debris around electric motors will eventually pose a large risk to the motor’s function.
Be sure to clean filters or areas around motors for the following appliances:
- Air conditioning units
- Exhaust fans throughout the kitchen
- Vacuum cleaners
Remember to also remove lint from the dryer after every load. Unplug any devices before cleaning and avoid cleaning with water or liquids.
Be Cautious of Trees and Vegetation
Surrounding trees and vegetations can pose a big risk to electrical systems.
If vegetation gets too large or grows on power lines, they can disrupt your connection or bring the entire power line down.
When you are designing or updating the yard around your property, consider the following tips:
- Plant bushes or vegetation that is low to the ground and doesn’t spread. Tall trees or invasive vines are most likely to reach power lines.
- Stay on top of pruning plants around power lines before they grow too close.
- Consult an arborist or landscape specialist about the risks of vegetation around your property and when trees or plants should be pruned. Only professionals should work around vegetation and power lines. Have the number of an experienced arborist on hand in case an issue arises.
Call an Experienced Australian Electrician
Whether you are making changes to your electric system or simply assessing your property for risks, enlist the help of a professional electrician. If you take matters into your own hands, you will only increase the risk of an injury.
Leave electrical work to the professionals.
Compare Prices and Plans with Electricity Monster
Outdated and unsafe electrical practices don’t just put you at risk of injury; they could be eating up energy and increase your electricity bills.
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Written by Anvesh Katuri
January 11, 2018