Using electricity safely is a combination of using your common sense
and knowing where the potential dangers are and how to minimise them.
Here are some great ideas for keeping your family safe.
- If you have children, put a detachable guard rail around your cooking
- Don't let pan handles or electrical cords hang over the edge of
your stove, where children can reach them.
- Keep your stove top clear of everything except cooking utensils.
- Never run a cord over your stove top.
- Don't leave cords and appliances near wet areas.
- Never fill your kettle while it's plugged in.
- Dry your hands before touching power points (this applies wherever
you are in the house).
- If toast gets stuck in your toaster, unplug it before trying to
get the toast out.
Bathroom and laundry
- Don't use extension cords in the bathroom or laundry.
- Keep appliances away from wet areas.
- Heaters and heated towel rails should be permanently wired by a
- Clean your dryer's dust filter regularly to remove the risk of fire.
Hot water safety
- Even the recommended temperature of 50 - 55ºC can cause burns.
Always treat hot water with extreme care.
- Install a hot water mixing valve to control the temperature of your
- Make sure taps are clearly marked hot and cold.
- Always run the cold water first when running a bath, then add the
- Keep heaters away from overhanging bedspreads and duvets.
- Switch off heaters before you go to bed.
- At the start of winter, ensure your electric blanket is safe by
turning it on to its highest setting for several minutes and checking
to see if any part of it is overheating.
- Switch your electric blanket off before you get into bed.
- If you spill liquid on your electric blanket, switch it off at the
- Never use a hot water bottle and electric blanket at the same time.
- Keep heaters away from curtains or table cloths.
- Don't place vases or fish tanks near electrical appliances.
- Don't run electric cords through doorways or windows where they
could be jammed.
- Don't place cords under carpets or where there is frequent foot
Keeping your appliances safe
- Replace damaged plugs or frayed cords immediately.
- If an appliance begins to smoke, you notice a burning smell or you
get a slight shock, switch it off at the wall immediately and either
replace it or seek advice from a registered electrician.
- Don't overload your power points. If you need more power points,
contact a registered electrician to have them installed or make sure
you have a multi-plug board with a built in overload switch.
Being safe with electricity outside
- Only use one-piece extension cords. Never, ever plug two cords together.
- Don't use electric mowers or hedge clippers in the rain or after
- When using a mower or clipper, keep the power cord clear of the
area you are working in.
- When working outside, use a Safety Switch (Residual Current Device)
or an isolating transformer. The Safety Switch automatically disconnects
the circuit if there is a leakage to earth and the possibility of
an electric shock.
- Keep extension ladders, boat masts and window washing equipment
away from power lines.
- Never climb anywhere near power lines.
- Don't let children fly kites near power lines. If they do fly a
kite near lines, and it becomes tangled, make sure they know never
to try to retrieve it. Warn them not to climb power poles, pylons
Home safety checklist
If you answer 'No' to any of these questions, either fix the problem
or contact your electrician immediately.
- Do you have enough power points in your home, eliminating the need
for overloaded multi-plugs?
- Are your power points in good condition?
- Are all power points firmly attached to the wall?
- Are all your plugs in good condition?
- Are all the cords and connections to the plug in good condition?
- Are all the power points in your kitchen placed in such a way that
you don't have to reach over toasters, kettles or ovens?
- Are all your appliances in good condition?