Our lives now are almost completely dependent on electricity. A blackout for an hour, and you don't know what to do, how to kill time, or are unable to get any of your important work done. With this increased dependence on electricity, following some methods of electrical safety becomes imperative.
The reason electrical safety is so important is because of the numerous hazards that can result from lack of following the basics of handling electricity and electrical appliances. Messing with electrical appliances, manhandling them, or handling them without appropriate safety measures are the cause of several electrical fires that occur each year, not without some injuries to kids and adults alike. Therefore, following some tips on electrical safety is of prime importance.
Tips on Electrical Safety for the Home
Measures for electrical safety for kids and adults are alike. In fact, parents should caution their little ones against electrical hazards by setting an example for them. Some tips that will ensure electrical safety have been enlisted here.
- The first and most important measure, regarding electrical safety, is to avoid exposure of electrical outlets and appliances to water. This combination can be highly dangerous, so ensure you don't touch electrical outlets, unplug or plug electrical appliances with wet hands. Further, electrical outlets in water prone areas such as bathrooms and kitchens should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), as it prevents a shock, in case of exposure to water.
- When unplugging a cord, ensure that you pull out the plug and don't tug on the cord. It can result in the exposure of electrical wires and can be harmful. Further, always keep electrical appliances that are not under constant use (iron, microwave, food processor, etc.) unplugged.
- Some electronic appliances generate heat, such as the television and the refrigerator. Such appliances should be placed in spots that have open space around them to normalize the high temperatures they attain. Don't cramp them up with other appliances around, as they may overheat and cause a problem.
- Ensure that you check for the wattage of every electrical appliance before you plug it in a socket. Variations in wattage may result in electrical shocks and short circuits that can be dangerous.
- Overloading an electrical socket with too many appliances is a big no-no. Now you may consider an extension cord as an alternative. However, extension cords were designed as a temporary solution to the need for the use of multiple electrical appliances. These are not a permanent solution and should not be used as one either. Also, if there are too many cords around, tape them together. Do not wind them around anything or knot them.
- Assuming that you can repair minor electrical faults yourself, without any sort of experience is a big mistake. If you happen to make an error while doing so, it can be highly dangerous for yourself and your surroundings.
- Any open electrical outlets should be covered by a face place, in order to prevent exposure of open wires, that may be particularly harmful to your little ones and your pets. Safety of children should always be kept in mind when dealing with electrical wires and appliances. Also maintain electrical points at a height where your little ones cannot easily reach.
- When installing a new appliance, ensure that the socket is switched off before you plug in the appliance. Further, if the appliance was in use earlier, ensure that the appliance itself is also switched off before you plug it in.
- Similarly, when installing or replacing lights, keep the switches off, check for wattage, fix the lights well (don't hang them loose), and try to use energy efficient lights to make sure that you save electricity and prevent overheating.
- When outdoors, ensure that you do not get too close to overhead power lines. This also requires you to keep your trees pruned so that they do not come into direct contact with these power lines. Avoid climbing on ladders for whatever reason around power lines. Ensure that there are no downed power lines in your area, and do not, under any circumstance, touch them. Just report this to the appropriate authorities. Avoid flying kites or any other toys such as balloons around power lines.
Follow these safety tips and you will keep yourself away from all major electrical hazards. Also, as mentioned earlier, impart these tips for electrical safety to your little ones by setting an example for them, rather than just telling them to follow these tips. It will teach them the value of electrical safety better.