You should deal with electrical hazards at home as your hidden enemy and do what ever it takes to keep this danger away. Never miss with electricity and set some home electrical safety rules for you and all your family.
Electricity plays an important part in our life. Almost all home appliances work on electrical energy. If this energy is necessary in our homes, we must know how to safely deal with it.
In this article we will help you to set the safety rules and to know every thing you should know about electrical danger at home.
Why is electricity dangerous?
Most common electrical dangers at home are electric shock and fire.
- Electrical shock happens when the human body comes in direct contact with electricity and becomes a part of the electrical circuit.
- Electrical fire happens due to two possible causes.
- Electrical short circuit. Which happens when energized wire touches the neutral wire. “Home electricity have two wires, energized wire (phase) and neutral wire”. In this case the short circuit current rises very much and as a result the wires temperature rises to an extent that it could melt the wire copper and insulation causing a fire in the end.
- The second possible cause of electrical fire is Over Loading the circuit. This case happen when connecting an appliance or any electrical tool on a plug which is not designed for higher loads. Overload causes wires temperature rise and then melting the insulation of the wire and the plug causing a fire.
What is electrical hazards at home?
Electrical hazards at home may be not clear for all of us. Hereunder some of electrical danger types.
Bad outlets are one of the common fire causes at homes. The bad outlet causes electric spark and arc fault which cause temperature rise and fire. You can visually detect the bad outlet if the plug isn’t fixed well in the outlet this is a strong sign that this is a bad outlet and you should replace it.
Electrical water boilers and kettles
Water boilers and kettles comes with a safety protection against dry working, and switching off when water boils. These two protection features are the number one specs to search for when purchasing a new kettle or water boiler.
In my work “A big company” many of electrical fire incidents happened due to bad types of electrical kettles with no dry working protection or kettles with no auto switching off feature.
Bad insulated wires and plugs
Wires and plugs are insulated with insulation material called “PVC”. This insulation keeps electrical danger away and keep you safe. Any damage in the insulation should be repaired or replace. Some times insulation tape is enough to make it safe again.
Wet appliances, plugs and electrical tools.
Electricity and water never mix. Wet appliances and plugs have a very high chance to shock any one who touch it. Always keep your appliances and electrical tools dry and if they get wet never use them in this case.
In case of any appliance or electrical tools dropped into water while it is energized never ever touch it and go quickly to the electricity panel and switch off all circuit breakers. Then call a certified electrician to check the appliance or the tool to decide if still fine to use it or no.
Damaged cords, wires and plugs
Damaged cords plugs and wires are another shape of electrical danger. They can cause electric shock as well as a fire. If you use a cord as temporary extension check it carefully before use and never make it permanent.
Long wires and cords
Make long cords as a loop on the ground and never tie it in tight knots. Also, long wires on the ground can cause slip, trips and fall hazard.
Never work outside with electrical tools in rainy weather. Always postpone any outside work for sunny days, or wait for the rain to stop.
Electrical hazards at home of outdated and poor wiring
Many of our homes have electrical wiring aged 30 years old. This is too much time for wiring to be in a good condition. If your home is one of these old homes, then you need to hire a certified electricians to check circuit breakers rating and wiring condition.
Its not necessary to replace the old wiring, but you should check its condition and sizing, as home appliances that work on electricity changed over the time. The electrician will make sure of circuit breakers sizing, types and rating.
Overloaded plugs and outlets
Before you connect a new appliance to a power plug make sure that the power of the appliance is suitable to that of the plug. Overloading power plugs is one of the common electrical hazards at home, Pay attention to that.
Always listen to your appliances
If your appliance repeatedly trips your circuit breaker, or if you are getting a slight electric shock then you should hire a professional electrician to check out this appliance carefully.
Unprotected electrical outlets
Children are curious about any thing around them at home. They always try to put their fingers or any thin metallic objects into the electrical outlets. This is very dangerous. Using covered protected outlets can protect them.
When I was a young kid, I put a metallic nail in the outlet. I got shocked hardly. But fortunately the nail felled from my hands and I was released from the electrical shock. I’m still alive and I became an electrical engineer.
Back then I was thinking that the nail will light like a bulb.
Leaving appliances energized all time
Always unplug unused appliances specially when leaving your home for short or long times.
When you are at home you can detect any abnormal condition of these appliances, and you can take a safety action like power isolation.
Loosen connection is one of electrical hazards at home
If you or an electrician is connecting and installing outlet, plugs or any electrical connections which is connected by screws, Make sure that the screws are well tightened. No loose is allowed or accepted
Laptop bad ventilation
Laptop bad ventilation can lead to laptop overheated and getting burnt. Laptops produce heat but they are well designed to cool down automatically.
This cooling process is done by means of internal fans and ventilating openings in the laptop body. You should ever close these openings while the laptop is working.
My friends laptop was burnt and damaged because he put it on the bed, while it was turned on, and closed the cooling openings.
Electrical water heaters
One of the common electrical hazards at home is electrical water heaters. The hazard happens when the heater inside insulation gets damaged, In this dangerous case the water it self transfers electricity through the pipe line to all water in the home. This case could cause serious injuries and electric shocks.
Using GFCB (ground fault circuit breaker) can detect this kind of hazards and trips.