‘With great power comes great responsibility’. Here ‘power’ is electricity and maintaining its safety is our ‘responsibility’. From this article, you will find out about the fundamental electrical safety tips and practices that will help you lead a safe hazard-free life.
Electricity is a wonderful gift of science and a very important component of modern day lifestyle. In a broader sense the whole civilisation. But like all other gifts of science electricity has its own fair share of electrical dangers if not regulated properly.
Electric appliances are taking over our modern-day lifestyle from all directions. As being aware of these is now more important than ever. Safety is now a place where you can afford to cut corners. Rather it’s better if you let go of your procastination and spend on the best possible materials to avoid hazards.
Table of Contents
Most common Dangers of electricity
First thing you need to know about electricity to save yourself from hazards is to keep a clear and concise idea of the Properties of electricity. In simple words, it is the flow of electric charge through a conducting wire.
Compliances use electricity to function. We use electricity in our homes to convert the energy with the help of appliances. It helps us in a variety of chores at our homes. So any type of irregularity has the potential to cause havoc. Following are a few dangers of electricity
1. Shocks from contacting live parts
There are several scientific reasons why people get shocks from touching objects. Electric shocks are very common in cold and dry environments. But this mainly occurs due to the exposure of a current to any conductive surface. So when anybody touches the surface he also experiences a shock.
2. Power surge
A power surge is a sudden spike in your home’s electric current. A sudden spike in the electricity supply can damage sensitive electric appliances. Too much current can even break down supply lines and cause a fire.
Power surges can originate from the electric utility company during power grid switching. Another common cause of power surges, especially the most powerful ones, is lightning. Power surges can also originate inside a home when large appliances like air conditioners and refrigerator motors turn on and off.
3. Faulty wiring
Faulty wiring is a very common scene in old urban houses. Technicians most of the time fix things just to make things work. As a result, many openings for potential hazards to strike.
By faulty wiring, we mean the bad conductance of electricity to the electrical appliances. It happens from damaged electrical outlets or worn out sockets that are not grounded.
Loose, frayed, cracked, or overheated wires are unable to conduct electricity safely. This often leads to a fire breaking out.
4. Effects of Damp and wetness
Water and electricity is a match that has brought several tragic consequences. Moisture is a good conductor of electricity. So any exposed wire in contact with a wet and damp environment can be hazardous.
Damp walls with plugs or any other electrical installation pose a serious risk of electrocution, short circuit and fire. So touching a live wet conductor can lead to fatal consequences.
5. Overloaded pins
Overloaded sockets will draw more electricity from an outlet than its supplying capacity. Transferring more electricity through a wire will overheat it and cause the wire to melt. This can melt the insulation and be responsible for shock or even fires.
Electrical safety tips for parents
Securing kids from any electrical hazards is one of the main challenges for new parents. Naturally, kids are curious and tend to touch anything they find new. So parents need to put in extra effort to save their precious children. Some special precautions for kids are:
Electrical safety tips to protect your home
All modern accessories operate on electricity. Our houses are nowadays overwhelmed with electric appliances. Even locks and keys that were analogous before have introduced electric versions.
So every household should maintain some electrical safety rules to avoid any types of havoc. Some basic electrical safety tips ensure electrical safety at home is:
1. Secure Unprotected outlets
It’s very dangerous to have children in your house that have too many unprotected sockets. You can’t interrupt their activities as it might upset them. There aren’t ways to inform infants of the dangers of electricity.
So it’s better to keep the outlets at a height above their reach. Some of the sockets are also provided with covers and shutters to avoid unprotected exposures to electricity.
2. Use the right power for the right device
It’s recommended to use the right bulbs, fixtures and appliances to ensure full safety. Most devices have fixed power supply limitations of using them.
In case of fixed and sensitive appliances please go by the users manual. You may also avail the right kind of adapters to protect yourself and your devices.
3. Maintaining extension cords
It’s needed to properly regulate the use of extension cords with great cautions. Otherwise, this poses two different kinds of threat to the inhabitants of the house.
Firstly, anyone can involuntarily slip and trip on the cables of the socket. This is a great mechanical hazard that can lead the family members to injuries.
Secondly, with continuous use over time, an extension cord can rapidly deteriorate. This creates a potentially dangerous electric shock or fire hazard.
4. Don’t overuse a single outlet
You should avoid the use of a single socket. Although the practice might seem harmless at times as long as it’s working, it can lead to a lot of damage.
The flow of too much current will lead to overheating of the wires and other components of the outlet. As a result, the insulation might overheat and melt. This can cause leaks in wire and cause dysfunction and even shocks.
5. Keep unused devices unplugged
Try to keep out of use or rarely used fixed appliances unplugged. This is a great safety practice for devices like washing machines, tv, the computer and charging devices.
On one hand, it will help power draining. On the other hand, it will keep the electronics protected from unwanted power surge related damage.
6. Avoid permanent use of extension sockets
Most extension sockets are not composed with the right elements. Their purpose is to carry electric supply to a place on a temporary basis. They are just makeshift outlets.
So their wires and particles may deteriorate and become a cause of hazard on its own. As most extension sockets have multiple outlets overflow of current is a must.
Overheating from this can easily damage, wear out and melt its internal parts. So a potential hazard is always on the cards.
7. Keep electrical objects away from heat sources
The appliances produce plenty of heat of their own while operating. So it’s important to keep electrical objects away from hot places and heat sources.
Besides this, you should also ensure ample scope of ventilation for the appliances. This will help get rid of the excess heat.
8. Keep electrical sources away from wet & damp place
Water and electricity together are a very deadly combination. It’s very important to keep any type of live part away from damp and wet places.
Moisture has the potential to erode any types of surfaces. On the other hand, it is a great conductor of electricity.
Moisture can erode surfaces and expose conducting surfaces to the household. So combining the two factors can lead to devastating effects.
9. Detect danger signs of home appliances
Some outlets may show irregularities while working. This actually indicates there are issues with the outlets. Continuously using problematic outlets leads to further worsening of the problem.
It’s necessary to deal with incidents like this with topmost importance. Otherwise, an occurrence is just waiting to happen.
10. Perfectly ground all connection in a house
Grounding gives a path for fault current to flow to the ground. As a result, proper grounding saves us from being electrocuted. On the other hand, it also fuses the circuit that has encountered the problem.
To sum it up grounding is a very important issue to ensure the safety of electric appliances as well as its users. So you should regularly inspect the grounding of your outlets.
Safety practices that will help avoid hazards
A few preventive steps to avoid electrical hazards in your home are:
Electricity has made the most number of interventions in all walks of life and made our life more comfortable. But we are also in charge of balancing its outcomes by ensuring proper safety. Complying with the above electrical safety tips will save us from a lot of hassle and make our life much more easier.
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