Use an electrician
Always use a registered electrical worker with a current practicing licence for all electrical repairs and ask for a certificate of compliance after the work is complete.
- Stay clear of live wires. Make sure cords on appliances
- are not frayed or damaged, and plugs are not loose or broken.
- Don’t overload power points or multi-boards. Too many plugs in a single power point can cause a fire.
- Always pull the plug, not the cord.
- Don’t use a utensil to get toast out of the toaster. Unplug the toaster, let it cool down, then remove the toast.
- Make sure the cord is not frayed or cracked and is fully unrolled. A rolled up extension cord could heat up when the power is on, causing the insulation to melt and possibly catch fire.
- Keep cords out of traffic areas where people could trip over them.
- Never nail or staple cords to the wall, baseboard or to any other object. In the process, you could pierce the cord and be seriously injured.
- Do not run cords under carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on them.
- If you are planning to use an extension cord long term, it will be safer to get an electrician to wire a new power point in for you near the appliance you are using.
Always have your electric blankets checked annually before using them. The fabric of a blanket can become worn and thin after regular use and while, it may function normally, the blanket could overheat. You can get your blankets tested by a registered electrician or service centre.
The Heater-Metre Rule
Keep all furniture, clothes and curtains at least one metre away from heaters and fire places.
Put childproof safety caps over power points when there are children, toddlers and babies around, although modern, shuttered-type power points should be safe. If you are in doubt, get a registered electrician to check for you.
Around the bath
To prevent electric shock in the bath, use battery power for the radio or CD player instead of electricity. Keep hairdryers well away from water. There are strict regulations regarding the installation of appliances in bathrooms – always use a registered electrician.
Use an RCD
When using power tools, always use a Residual Current Device (RCD), or an isolating transformer. Connect the RCD as close as possible to the power point.
In an electrical fire
Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Electricity can be conducted through the water to the person attempting to extinguish the fire which may result in serious shock. Use a multipurpose fire extinguisher designed for electrical fires, wood/paper fires, and flammable liquids. Call 111.
An electric shock
In the event of an electrical shock, don’t touch the victim until you are certain the source of electricity is turned off. Unplug the appliance or turn off power at the main switch. Call 111.