Electrical Safety in the Home – Locating Danger Areas

Are you concerned about electrical safety in your home? 

When our household appliances come to life at the flick of a switch, how much consideration do we give to the steady flow of electricity powering our homes each day? The majority of us depend on electricity, from the moment we wake to the sound of the alarm clock, to the point at which we switch off the lights to sleep. However, according to the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), 2.5 million people a year receive a mains voltage electric shock in Britain alone.

If you’re concerned about electrical safety in the home, here are some useful things to look out for in order to locate danger areas.

The wiring

Found at the heart of every home, wiring installations consist of insulated conductors responsible for delivering electricity to every socket and switch throughout the house. Strict building regulations now ensure that all wiring and rewiring must be carried out by qualified electricians.

Of course, keeping check on your home’s wiring can be tricky as it is usually hidden from sight, but knowing how old your wiring is may give you some indications. Cables coated in black rubber, lead, or fabric are pre-1960’s, as are fuse boxes with wooden backs or cast iron switches.

If you suspect your wiring is old or unsafe, have it checked by a qualified electrician immediately.

Smoke detectors

Arguably the most important appliance in the home, smoke detectors can save lives. The UK Government’s Fire Kills campaign, running since 1999, claims that 1 in 4 smoke alarms fail to operate in a fire, and that people are more than twice as likely to die in a home fire if there is no working smoke alarm.

Test your alarm weekly by holding down the test button until it beeps. Unless you have a ten-year alarm, change the battery annually, and vacuum the inside of the case to remove dust each week.

Appliances and sockets

Potential areas of danger occupy your home in the forms of kettles, computers, chargers, sockets, and basically anything else which uses electricity. Check your appliances regularly for any signs of damage such as exposed wiring, damaged plugs, and marks which may mean your appliances are overheating.

With so many devices and appliances to charge, make sure that your sockets are not overloaded. For information and advice on overloading sockets, why not try this helpful Socket Overload Calculator from the Electrical Safety Council.