Mains electricity can be a serious danger and a constant worry around the home, especially with children and pets around. However by following some simple steps and using some common sense it doesn’t have to be that way.
Never use any damaged electrical equipment.
It may seem obvious but is of serious importance that any electrical equipment which has visible damage to either the plug, lead or any other part is not suitable for safe use. If you’re in doubt about an appliance either replace it or call an Electrician to repair it.
Always use the correct fuse size in plugs.
Fuses in plugs are there to stop an appliance from being overloaded with too much electrical current, which can cause serious overheating and start fires. This is why the correct size fuse must always be used, putting too high a fuse into a plug means the appliance will not be properly protected. Usually a label on the appliance or plug will detail the required fuse size. If unsure common fuse sizes include 3 amps for lamps or plug in lights & 13 amps for a hoover or kitchen appliances such as toasters or kettles.
Always protect outside equipment with an RCD.
Use an RCD for any outside electrical equipment. If you don’t have a modern Consumer unit with an RCD installed, it is highly recommended that any plug in gardening equipment be plugged into an RCD adapter. An RCD, or Residual Current Device, will disconnect the electrical supply should a fault or accident occur. Cut through the cable of your strimmer and the RCD will disconnect, preventing you from harm and an electric shock.
Extra low voltage supplies.
An extra low voltage supply is any voltage under 50 volts, this kind of equipment is much safer than mains voltage, as voltage under 50 volts is considered ‘touch safe’. Below this voltage is not strong enough to cause an electric shock or any problems with the heart.
This is why batteries are safe to touch. Many phone chargers or electrical appliances will also be supplied from an extra low voltage power supply, for added safety.
Regulations dictate that electrical equipment, such as spotlights or fans, in certain areas of bathrooms must be 12 volt, this would also fall under the category of extra low voltage and ensures high safety standards in areas of high risk.
The main source of accidents and damage to property is due to bad workmanship or DIY, careless attitudes and continuing to use an item which is clearly dangerous.