Electrical safety at home is very important and we can not ignore it. Electricity helps make our lives easier but it is very dangerous. Electricity has the power to cause burns, shocks, and even death. Appliances and power cords can be just as dangerous as electrical power lines if you do not take proper safety precautions.
It is very important to take safety precautions when working with electricity. we sometimes forget how powerful and dangerous is electricity. Hazards can be eliminated or reduced by staying aware and taking steps to eliminate their dangers. Some tips for electrical safety at home are given below.
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10 Tips for electrical safety at home you should know:
1.Electricity-it is safe, do not misuse it
- Electricity makes life easy & convenient.
- But it needs careful handling.
- Misuse of electricity increases.
- Electrical equipment has built-in safety devices but they are not foolproof or fail-safe.
- Domestic current in our homes can cause serious injury even death.
2.Water + electricity = disaster
- Electricity always seeks the easiest path to the ground.
- Water & electricity do not go together, so avoid wet hands while operating.
- Do not work in a damp or moist area.
- If you touch an energized bare wire or a faulty appliance while you are grounded, electricity will instantly pass through to the ground causing a harmful or fatal shock.
3. Fuse is your safety-do not tamper with it
- Position of cutouts & fuse boxes should be easily approachable in emergency & should not be locked.
- Make separate mains for each room.
- It is advisable to have all fuses & circuit breakers in the main fuse box.
- Damaged switches should be replaced earliest by proper rating switches.
- For personal safety install Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers (ELCB) in addition to MCBs.
4. Avoid extension cords
- Avoid extension cords, in case of urgency, it should be optimum capacity. Do not use it permanently.
- Extension cords should not be left dangling or trailing on the floor. Can cause trip & fall.
- Remember not to left the cord to lie over wet or hot surfaces or concealed under carpets & mats. This can lead to short circuits & shocks.
5. Do not be a ‘do-it-yourself ’ person
- Use any electrical appliance, especially new ones, with due care. Consult instruction manuals for correct operation.
- Each time you use an appliance, remember to switch it off & remove the cord from the socket.
- However, in case you are a DIY person, use tools that have insulated handles & casing.
6. Some appliances & equipment require extra care
- The arrangement of major electrical appliances like TV & refrigerators should always away from a wall such that they have adequate ventilation for dissipation of heat generated.
- The air vents provided in these types of equipment should never be closed.
7. Stop shock before it stops you
- Follow one plug-in one socket rule.
- All appliances should have 3-pin plugs.
- Socket & plug pins should not be loose.
- Switch off appliances after use.
- Use standard plug & sockets for safety.
- All appliances require regular maintenance.
- Keep combustibles away from appliances.
- Never use a defective appliance.
- Do not repair an appliance yourself.
- Use correct size & quality of fuse wire.
- Do not replace the fuse until the defect is removed.
- Never use a fuse of higher capacity.
- Use Miniature Circuit Breakers of appropriate size.
- Turn off the main switch when leaving the holidays.
- Ensure all connections are tight.
- Do not work with electricity on wet surfaces.
- Extra care should be taken for kitchen and bathroom appliances.
- Do not insert bare wires in a socket.
- Do not pull out the plug by the cord; remove it with a firm grip.
8. Do you know how to handle an electrical emergency
- Break the contact by switching off the mains.
- Stand on the dry, insulating material.
- Use something non-metallic to push the victim.
- Check to breathe, carry out resuscitation if necessary.
- Place the victim in the recovery position & dial for an ambulance.
- Cool any burn with lots of water.
- Consult a doctor.
9. Electrical safety for children
- Children’s natural curiosity can lead them into serious situations.
- Teach them never to put fingers on switchboards or electrical appliances.
- Keep electrical appliances or cords away from children.
- Children should be told to fly kites away from overhead lines & do not allow them to climb trees near power lines.
- Children should stay away from power lines, substations, and pole-mounted transformers.
10.Replace or repair damaged electrical power cords
- Look at all wiring associated with your equipment. Look for any damaged insulation that is cracked or has exposed electrical wires. Do not touch the damaged areas! Immediately take damaged cords out of service and replace them.
- Do not attempt to repair a damaged cord.
- If the damaged cord is hard wired, a qualified electrician must be contacted to make the repair.
Safety Measures in Domestic Installations :
- Do not tamper with meter boards and cutouts that are sealed by the supplier. Interference with these is an offense under the law.
- Do not touch an electric switch or appliances when your hands are wet or bleeding from a cut or an abrasion.
- Do not be absent-minded while replacing the fuse or inserting plugs for fans, heaters, etc.
- Do not use copper wire as a substitute for fuse wire.
- Do not renew a blown-out fuse until you are satisfied as to the cause and have it rectified for any irregularity.
- Do not use wires with poor insulation.
- Do not wear loose clothing. Metal watch straps, bangles, or finger rings while working on electrical appliances.
- Do not hang clothes and such other things on electrical fittings.
- Do not hang wet clothes for drying on the service lines or the conduit pipes.
- All the electrical appliances such as electric iron, toasters, grinders, hot plates, etc. should be connected to the 3-pin plugs and sockets which have one of its terminals connected to the earth.
- Temporary extension of wires should be avoided.
- The use of crude and improvised heating elements for boiling water should be avoided.
- It is safe to use rubber slippers while handling the switches etc. during the replacement of fuses or minor repairs.
- Always have a fire extinguisher handy in the house. (Carbon dioxide extinguishers (CO2) and Powder extinguishers are used to extinguish the electrical fire)
- Never use water while the power is on. Water is a natural conductor of electricity and if you throw water on an electrical fire, you can get shocked.
Temporary Installations and Wiring :
- All temporary installations and wiring should be carried out by a licensed electrical contractor and wireman.