In terms of everyday domestic danger, electricity is massively underestimated and people still choose to turn a blind eye when it comes to electrical safety awareness, despite the potentially fatal consequences which stem from domestic hazards such as defective electric blankets or overloaded sockets.
Half of all domestic fires are caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment, and as dangerous, sub-standard counterfeit products – including anything from mobile phone chargers and hand held games– have seen an unprecedented increase in recent years, exercising vigilance toward domestic electrical safety is more important today than it ever has been.
Here are some tips to point you towards domestic electrical safety:
> Electrical wires can easily cause accidents, so keep them safe and tidy
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> Keep wiring away from heat sources such as those found in the kitchen
> Ensure all electrical products are switched off or unplugged when not in use
> Use a stud/cable detector when hanging pictures to avoid hitting electrical cables
> Avoid overloading plug sockets and use fused multi-adapters whenever possible
> Remember, stereos and other electrical products do not belong in the bathroom
> Regularly inspect and repair any worn plugs, wires or other electrical components
> Use a residual current device (RCD) to avoid potentially fatal electric shocks
Sir Ken Knight, the chief inspector of fire services, said: “Electrical equipment is an inescapable part of all our lives, from essentials like heating and lights to luxuries like entertainment systems or beauty products.
“Half of all accidental fires begin with an electrical appliance, so it’s really important to be sure that your electrics are in good working order and are used properly.
“Most electrical fires start in the kitchen, so be extra careful with cooking equipment.
“Fire in the home can be devastating, but many of these fires are preventable. By following some simple steps, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire.”
You can find details of reputable electrical installers at www.napit.org.uk/fastSearch.asp.