Electrical Safety At Home

The potential dangers of electricity used in the home can usually be subdivided into those that can cause a fire or those that can cause electrocution.

However, in reality, most of these issues can result in either.

Government data shows that "Accidental electrical dwelling fires" account for over 50% of all accidental dwelling fires. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-statistics-incident-level-datasets)

  1. Faulty Appliances - The large appliances in our home, that we cannot do without, are responsible for a significant number of electrical fires each year. In order of worst culprit to the least: Microwaves, Washing Machines, Dryers, Fridges, Dishwashers. So it's highly recommended to get a qualified person to test and inspect your household appliances on a regular basis.
  2. Faulty Leads - Inspection of the lead supplying the appliance would form part of the inspection recommended above, but you should also keep an eye on all your extension leads (check for damage, fraying, exposed cable etc..) and always buy high-quality extension leads.
  3. Overloaded Extension Leads - It's easy to overload a 13A extension lead by plugging in 4 or even 6 appliances. Make sure that you check the total amps that each item will draw first and wherever possible use wall sockets directly rather than using extensions leads. Ideally, ask your electrician to add more wall sockets wherever you would otherwise need to use an extension lead.
  4. DIY Electrical Work - Most electrical work in the home these days requires a fully qualified electrician to legally comply. Ask your electrician to recommend the correct electrical solution and then pay them to do the work and test it properly. Approved electricians carry thousands of pounds worth electrical test equipment which they have spent years learning how to use properly in order to keep you and your family safe. This is not an area to cut corners on to save a small amount of money. You'll often save money by getting the correct solution first time without having to get someone to come back to fix your mistakes (which they will probably be reluctant to do).
  5. Protecting Your Whole House - Many people have older fuse boards (consumer units) in their home, which offer far less protection against electrical shock and fires than modern consumer units can. Ask an electrician to provide you with a quote for a modern consumer unit with the latest RCBO and Surge Protection devices. If you do this, almost any potential electrical issue in your home will cause one of these high-tech devices to immediately isolate the problem circuit and prevent an electrical accident.