We use electricity from the time we get up in the morning with the help of an alarm set on a clock plugged into a wall socket or on a phone that has been charging overnight. At night, we lay in bed after switching off the TV and the lights. Throughout the day, an average UK household takes electricity for granted. The household forgets that they spend almost £600 annually on electricity. The only time a UK household notices the importance of electricity in their lives is when an electrical fuse trips when they must call an electrician.
UK households can plunge into darkness if a power line goes down due to weather changes. Members of the household can get hurt if they do not take the necessary precautions to maintain electrical equipment and connections. This guide ensures that you stay safe at home with all the electrical appliances, electrical connections, and wires within your home.
Electricity & The Risks In Britain
Electricity is nothing to take a casual interest in because direct contact can result in fires, shocks, and burns. In some cases, the flow of electricity can result in an explosion that renders an electrical appliance useless and injures individuals. According to information from the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), 350,000 injuries occur annually in the UK due to household electrical accidents. There are 70 deaths annually due to electrocution and electrical fires because electricity is the main culprit in almost half (49%) of accidental house fires in Britain.
The Electrical Safety Council warns that many of us are at risk of serious injury or death due to the ignorance and carelessness of some people when they use electricity. Based on the information from the organization, roughly 12 million people in Britain deliberately use faulty plugs and sockets. In addition, approximately 1.5 million people knowingly ignore burning smells from an electrical appliance or a wall socket. Similarly, many of us casually cover electrical lamps, operate electrical appliances in or close to the bathroom, and place electrical wires in the path of walking children, pets, and people.
The irony of the entire situation is that almost all electrical accidents are easily preventable with little care and caution. Keep reading to find out how to stay safe around electricity and electronic appliances at home.
Ensuring Electrical Safety In The Kitchen
The kitchen houses a majority of the appliances that are associated with deadly consequences if you do not practice proper care while handling them. Kitchen countertops and tables are jam-packed with the latest electronic gadgets that include blenders, sandwich makers, waffle irons, and coffee makers virtually increasing the risk of hazard for everybody at home. The following are some of the precautions to ensure electrical safety in the kitchen.
- Keep electrical wires and equipment far away from the kitchen sink, water, and cookers.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets: It is recommended to plug in only one kitchen appliance in an electrical outlet.
- Cleanliness is vital in the kitchen: Regularly clean up any buildup of crumbs, grease, oil, and water spills off of grills, hobs, ovens, toasters, and all appliances used for cooking purposes. Consider using a wooden tong instead of any metal object to clean the appliances or pull out burnt toast from a toaster.
- Remember to defrost the freezer and fridge at least once a year or earlier if there is frost in either of these appliances.
- Regularly check the wires of all kitchen appliances for incinerated or cauterized wires and loose connections.
- Plugin large kitchen appliances directly into a wall socket. This is true for air conditioners, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, refrigerators, and water heaters. Avoid using an extension wire, or surge protector on these appliances. Use the wall switch to switch off these appliances before unplugging them.
- Keep heat-producing kitchen appliances away from flammable materials. For example, keep coffee makers, sandwich makers, toasters, and waffle irons, away from curtains, paper towels, clothing, and accessories that can catch on fire.
- Always make sure that your exhaust fan is completely clean. The exhaust fan should not have any traces of dust, grease, or grime.
- Do not place any paper towels, sponges, plants, or any wet items close to electronic kitchen appliances.
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of tips for the kitchen. A certified electrician can give you better advice on the renovations you need to make based on your specific kitchen design.
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Prevent Electricity From Entering The Bathroom
Water and electricity are a deadly combination that can integrate into the bathroom. In Britain, no electric appliances are allowed into the bathroom other than shaver-supply units unless you can keep them at least three meters from a water source. The justification is that without electrical outlets in the bathroom you will not be tempted to take electrical appliances in the bathroom such as heaters, hairdryers, or radios. Avoid using extension wires to use electrical appliances in the bathroom.
Exercise Caution With DIY Repairs
Failed DIY attempts of electrical repairs account for almost half of the accidents that cause severe injuries to people in the UK. The paradox is that you do not need to be unreasonably energetic to perform home renovations to make a simple mistake. Enthusiasts, builders, and old-fashioned repairmen are some of the most common people to make silly mistakes when handling their electrical equipment. The following are some recommendations for anyone thinking about repairing something without the help of a qualified electrician.
- Use cable detectors: Cable detectors were invented for a purpose and that is to detect cables and wires before drilling or nailing anything into the wall.
- Switch Off The Fuse Box: Always make sure you switch off the circuit breaker for the room you are working in before you begin any electrical repairs at home.
- Organize Wires For Power Tools: A lot of handymen are so eager to get started on the repairs that they do not remember to unwind the electrical cords that connect the appliance to the socket. Not taking this precaution means that someone can potentially slip and fall headfirst onto the electrical appliance.
Maintaining Electrical Safety At Home
Adults need to make sure that their home is safe for their children whenever any electrical repairs take place. Electrical accidents can be expensive depending on your electricity consumption. Always make sure that you are getting the best rates on your electricity by visiting the Utility Bidder.