Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or you’re just thinking of ways you can improve safety, focusing on electrical systems is a good place to start. Electrical faults are one of the major causes of accidental fires, which can cause property damage as well as injury and even death. Not only that, but faulty electrical systems can lead to malfunctioning equipment and an increased risk of electrocution.
Modern homes are full of various electrical gadgets and outlets to make our lives easier. However, these can also become hazards if not used or installed correctly. If you’re looking to protect your family and possessions from harm, there are lots of ways you can improve electrical safety in and around your home. In this article, we’ll share some ideas to improve your home’s safety and help protect your family and property from damage.
Ensure Your Wiring and Cords are in the Best Condition
With electrical equipment, one of the biggest hazards comes from wear to cords and wiring. All live electrical wires should be coated in a protective and insulative material. In most cases, this is PVC, which is durable, flexible and prevents electrical current from being able to transfer from the wire to the surrounding environment. This allows you to use electrical devices without worrying about shocks, as the electricity cannot travel through insulative material.
While PVC helps to prevent wires from becoming an issue, it can still become worn down over time. This goes for both wiring of appliances and the wiring throughout your home. Having damaged wiring can lead to short circuits and increases the risk of electrocution and electrical fires. Make sure you check to see if any electrical conduit, cables or wiring have become worn down and replace them if you see any signs of damage.
Install Circuit Breakers
Most homes are equipped with a fuse box to break a circuit in case of a major increase in the level of electrical current. Fuses are also fitted into a lot of plugs used in common appliances, increasing the level of electrical safety around your home. While fuses are effective at stopping strong increases in current, they’re not always enough to prevent power surges.
Power surges can lead to damage to your appliances, even if the increase in current is very small. In addition, larger surges could increase the risk of fire or even electrocution. You can use a combination of fuses as well as residual circuit breakers to protect your home. Fuses can break the circuit in case of a major current increase, while residual circuit breakers are better at detecting and stopping minor increases.
Avoid Overloading Power Sockets
While modern homes have an abundance of sockets in most rooms, it’s still often not enough to charge and power all the devices you need. Many people use power socket extensions to allow more devices to be used at once. However, while power socket extensions themselves aren’t dangerous, overloading them can be. Using too much power from one outlet can increase the risk of fire or shock, and it’s important to make sure any extension you use has built-in circuit breakers to increase safety.
It’s possible to work out how many sockets you can use by adding up the amount of power each device uses. A much easier way is to simply place your hand on the plugs to feel how warm they are. If they’re warm or hot to touch, it could be a sign you’re overloading the outlet. In addition, you should avoid plugging high-powered devices into a power socket extension.