|Check electric blankets at the start of each winter||Never leave your home with appliances on||Regularly clean range hood filters|
Check out the different ways you need to stay safe when handling electricity through the headings below:
- General Appliances
- Kitchen Appliances
- Switches and Power Points
- Water and Electricity
- Extension Leads
- Power Lines
- Underground Cables and Pipes
- Switchboard and Fuses
- Useful Links
- Never use a faulty electrical appliance, or one that has a frayed cord, cracked or broken plug, or any appliance that has given someone any kind of shock.
- To avoid a shock, switch off power points before plugging and unplugging appliances.
- Do not attempt to repair faulty electrical appliances yourself. Leave it to a qualified repairman or licensed electrician.
- Remove appliances from the power point by holding the plug, not by pulling the cord.
- Have appliances serviced in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.
- When buying second hand appliances ensure that they have been tested by a licensed electrician and has been certified as safe.
- If you use a portable light, choose only approved hand lamps with protective guards and adequate insulation.
- Never leave your home with appliances such as heaters, ovens and stove tops operating.
- Remove any build-up of materials around the electric motor of exhaust fans (e.g. fluff, dust, lint, etc.)
- Do not place fan heaters, televisions and electrical equipment in areas with restricted air flow as overheating may occur.
- Keep all combustible material (e.g. clothes, bed linen, curtains and tea towels) away from stove tops, heaters and lamps as heat build-up can cause fires.
- Clean the lint in your clothes dryer after each use.
- When using your clothes dryer, ensure the load goes through a full cycle to allow the dryer to cool down.
- Electric blankets should be checked at the start of each winter for damaged wires, plugs, leads and hot spots. If the electric blanket is damaged you should replace it immediately.
- Electric blankets should be laid flat and secured tightly on the bed.
- Remember to turn off your electric blanket at the power point when you get into bed.
Electric blankets are not recommended where "bed-wetting" occurs.
- Ensure you have the correct bulb size and rating (in watts) fitted in lamps according to manufacturers specifications.
- All outdoor electrical appliances must conform to safety standards, i.e. be double insulated.
- Regularly clean range hood filters.
- Clean ovens and hot plates regularly to prevent the build-up of spilled fats and burnt foods.
- Install a ventilation system, flue or exhaust fan in the kitchen to remove fumes while cooking.
- Switch off and unplug your toaster before trying to remove toast, muffins or crumpets that are caught in the toaster.
- Remove bread crumbs from the toaster regularly as a build up can be hazardous.
- Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the room take something with you as a reminder that you are cooking (e.g. a wooden spoon).
- Put safety plugs into unused power point sockets to prevent accidental contact.
- Do not touch or attempt to repair a loose, cracked or broken power point switch. Repairs must only be undertaken by a licensed electrician or registered electrical contractor.
- Do not overload power points or power boards by "piggy backing" plugs into one socket or by using double adaptors as all power boards have maximum current ratings. Instead, have another power point installed by a registered electrical contractor.
- If there is a build up of dirt, moisture, grease or oil on or around power points and switches, have a licensed electrician test them.
- Do not allow children to play with power points or switches.
- Place power boards in ventilated areas and keep them free of dust and dirt.
- Do not plug high wattage appliances (such as heaters) into power boards as they could overheat the circuit wiring through overload and cause a fire.
- Do not spray household cleaners, detergents and insecticides on switches and power points.
- Do not wipe power points or switches with a wet cloth.
- Never touch anything electrical with wet hands or bare feet.
- Never use any electrical appliance near water.
- Do not use portable heaters in bathroom areas. Instead, you should have either a strip heater installed high on the wall or a ceiling unit installed by a registered electrical contractor.
- Be extremely careful when using appliances connected to power points near sinks, baths or swimming pools.
- Switch off and unplug all portable electrical appliances, such as hairdryers, shavers, etc after use.
- If an electrical appliance has been immersed in water it must be discarded immediately.
- Do not use extension leads or power leads in wet areas unless specifically designed to do so.
- Place extension cords carefully around furniture preferably securely taped to the floor, or along wall edges.
- Extension leads should have plugs with three metal cores (pins). Plugs with two cores are not earthed and therefore are dangerous and should be used only with double insulated electrical equipment.
- Only use extension leads as a temporary measure.
- Extension leads that are damaged, frayed or have the inner wires exposed should be thrown away or repaired by a qualified repairman or licensed electrician.
- Do not place extension leads near heaters and cookers.
- Check electrical cords are not hanging from benches where children can grab them.
- Do not connect a piggyback plug to the end of an extension lead to make it longer as the pins will be live. This can be extremely dangerous.
- If using extension leads outdoors check them regularly for signs of damage or age.
- Do not attempt to repair electrical leads yourself, and never join them by twisting or taping.
- Do not make up a long extension lead from a series of shorter ones.
- Never place extension leads under carpet or rugs as they may overheat.
- Fully extend leads on reels when in use.
- Around the home always keep well clear of overhead power lines.
- Keep all ladders, boat masts and poles well clear of overhead power lines.
- When operating tall machinery such as cranes and augers, driving high vehicles, lifting equipment overhead or climbing on top of roofs or other elevated areas, focus on what is above you. Keep well clear of power lines.
- Stay well clear of machinery being operated near power lines, as they could come in contact with overhead power lines.
- Stay well clear of any fallen power lines as electricity can arc across gaps.
- Do not attempt to remove trees or debris around power lines. Call TrustPower on 0800 87 87 87.
- Be careful when working on the roof of your house. Ask TrustPower to turn off the power when working close to wires attached to your house.
- You are responsible for ensuring that trees on your property are kept pruned to prevent interference with power lines. Hire a tree clearing expert if the trees are not well clear of the lines.
- Do not play with kites or model planes near overhead power lines.
- Only plant low growing tree or shrub species near overhead power lines in accordance with recommendations from your electricity distributor.
- Before you begin excavation it is essential to identify all underground services to and within the property and locate the position of gas, electricity, water and other underground services (such as telephone and cable TV).
- Contact your local lines company before you dig. They will provide you with information on most underground networks.
- Underground cables installed on a persons property should be accurately recorded and information placed in the meter box. If no record is evident, a registered electrical contractor may be able to assist to locate the cables.
- Know where your switchboard is located on your property in case of an emergency.
- Keep shrubs and trees clear around your switchboard and meter box for easy access.
- Be careful replacing rewirable fuses and make sure that the main switch is turned off when carrying it out.
- Label all switches, circuit breakers or fuses in the switchboard to identify the area of the property they control and protect.
- If a fuse blows repeatedly in your house have a registered electrical contractor or licensed electrician carry out a safety check.
- Switch the power off at the main switch if you are carrying out any household maintenance or renovations.
- Hire a registered electrical contractor or licensed electrician to inspect your switchboard if it has a strange smell or if there are any signs of heat scorching, burn marks or worn wires.
Energy Safety Service
Electrical Safety Service - A Guide to Living Safely with Electricity
Electrical Safety Service - Residual Current Devices - Switching on to Safety
Electrical Safety Quiz
Electrical Safety Foundation International
ACC Electrical Safety
Child Electrical Safety