Some important, and sometimes overlooked, safety guidance regarding electricity.
Our recommended electricians in Cambridge have come up with 10 key considerations to keep you and your possessions safe in your home.
Our homes today have literally dozens of appliances – all potential hazards if not used properly, or maintained and tested from time to time. Problems and accidents often arise when these – otherwise completely safe – appliances are linked together and overload a socket: this can lead to overheating and the origin of many household fires.
Extension leads and plug adaptors are common in the home and useful. Always check the current rating of an extension lead before use and plugging in appliances and do not overload it by using several appliances that together exceed the maximum current rating stated for that particular extension lead. This could cause the plug and wall socket to overheat and possibly start a fire.
Most extension leads today are rated at 13 A, but check before buying because some are rated at 10 A or less.
Larger high powered appliances, such as washing machines and driers should ideally have a single socket to themselves because of the high-power consumption. Be aware when changing plugs because different appliances use different amounts of power – a television for example may use a 3amp plug, whereas a vacuum cleaner might take 5amp plug for example.
There are four types of smoke alarms, each type can be either powered by battery or mains. In a standard alarm the battery will need to be replaced every 12 months, although you can buy some sealed with a 10 year battery. The fire service guidance is as follows:
If you are burning indoors any type of liquid or solid fuel for heating, cooking or other use, you should have an active carbon monoxide detector installed in your home to keep safe from this silent toxic gas.
To extend the life of your life bulbs, don’t use a light bulb wattage that is too high for a lamp – it should say which wattage you should be using.
Keep the toaster clean and away from curtains that could easily blow onto elements and catch alight.
Keep children and pets away from wires that they could pull or chew.
The following are all signs that something is wrong and if left untreated all have the potential to start a fire very easily.
If the coloured wires are sticking out of the plug, not only could they be pulled loose but also water and debris could get inside the plug. Change plugs that are loose or tighten them up.
The outer covering of a power lead must not be damaged. Make sure you don’t expose cables when you fix plugs and if a power lead does get split or frayed, don’t tape over it and don’t use previously-repaired leads. Never join cables by taping them together. Water could get in, or the tape could come loose. Buy a new appliance or lead instead
Appliances such as the stereo, the kettle, the radio and your computer are all plugged into live electrical sockets. Each one is therefore connected to enough power to start a fire instantly. Turning them off at night (i.e not on standby) not only helps prevent fires, it also saves energy with environmental and economic benefits.
By following these simple acts, accidents can be easily avoided, and many lives or injuries can be prevented. Rest assured that an overload in a properly installed electrical system wouldn’t burn your house down. An “overcurrent protective device” at the main panel will automatically shut off the power before damage occurs. In most cases, the device will be a circuit breaker that trips open. In older systems, a fuse will “blow” (burn out).
Finding a solution can be a hassle and it is always better to use a qualified electrician. Scuseme can put you in touch with local, vetted and experienced electricians who can help you with any problems or concerns.
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