As part of our service to our customers, we have compiled a few solutions and safety tips for you to bear in mind when working with electrical devices.
Click on each tab below for detailed instructions on what to do.
Safety Tip 1: What to do if you have a Safety Switch that is tripping
Safety switches come in basically three types being, switch board mounted, power point mounted or on an extension lead, they will probably look similar to these:
The function of a safety switch is to protect against electrocution and therefore save lives by detecting a leakage of current to earth. They are usually calibrated to trip at 30mA of earth leakage with a tripping time of 1millisecond.
But it is not a substitute for common sense and we must always remember to be safe with electricity, never use appliances with frayed or damaged leads. If an appliance is identified as faulty do not use it until it has been repaired by a qualified person.
To restore the power if your safety switch has tripped follow this suggested sequence:
Please remember that a safety switch is a Safety Device. You should:
– never use appliances suspected to be faulty;
– always practice safe use of appliances;
– never use appliances near water.
Test your safety switch every month to ensure it is working, by pressing the test button, this simulates an earth fault!
Safety Tip 2: Old Wiring
Old Wiring If you are going to go under your house or into the roof space you should be aware of exposed electrical wiring caused by either old age, rodent damage or substandard wiring practices. Its always a good idea not to touch the wiring system and to turn off the main switch to ensure your safety, particularly if you have old electrical wiring enclosed in steel conduit (similar to the photos below), as the joints of the old conduit are sometimes not intact, and there is no continuity of the earthing provided by the steel conduit.
If you are unsure of the safety and condition of your electrical installation contact us to carry out a safety inspection.
Download the PDF version of this checklist.
Safety Tip 3: Should I DIY?
- Repair any electrical appliances
- Replace a power point or light switch
- Change any pre-existing electrical wiring
- Install your own electrical wiring
- Change a plug on a lead.
- Resetting a safety switch or circuit breaker
- Changing an electric light bulb or tube
- Changing a starter in a fluorescent light fitting.
Safety Tip 4: 10 Electrical Safety Tips To Keep You Safe At Home
- If you have toddlers, be sure to use child-proof plugs to prevent them from poking their fingers or other object into sockets.
- Minimise the use of extension cords, plug directly into the wall where possible. Keep cords to the side and don’t run them under rugs or carpets.
- Don’t pull the cord to remove the plug from the socket, you may loosen the internal wires, pull from the plug instead.
- Unwind cords fully during use to prevent overheating, don’t tie them together.
- Turn off switches whenever not in use, you’ll save power too.
- Never leave appliances such as heaters, hair dryers, hair straighteners run unattended.
- Don’t piggy-back a double adapter as it can cause an electrical fire.
- Don’t overload a power board with too many appliances.
- Never use appliances when your hands are wet
- Inspect appliances, plugs, switches and cords regularly for damage and repair or replace them.
Safety Tip 5: Children and Electrical Safety
Once a child is old enough to understand, it’s time to teach them about electrical safety. Because you cannot supervise them every moment of the day, they need to learn about the particular areas of the home that pose the greatest risk. These can include
Wet areas – water and electricity do not mix, so electrical safety in bathrooms and around swimming pools is paramount. Children must learn that appliances such as hair dryers and electric shavers are not toys and must never be played with in the bathroom. Similarly, children should be taught not to place electrical appliances such as radios or DVD players too near swimming pools, in case they are accidentally splashed or fall into the water.
Outdoors – kids need to know that overhead power lines are dangerous and are to be avoided at all times. They should know that kites should only be flown in cleared areas away from power lines and that if they see a fallen power line to avoid it and tell an adult immediately.
Electrical appliances – kids these days have numerous electrical devices such as music players, portable TVs and computers, so they need to know how to use them responsibly, how always to switch them off at the wall when not in use, how to unplug them by the plug rather than the cord, how not to overload power points and to always make sure their hands are dry before touching appliances or light switches.