These Tips Will Keep Your Home Safe from Electrical Fires
Even just a 40 years ago, your home wouldn’t have had as many electrical devices you have today. They entertain us, do the drudge work and keep us in comfort. But never forget, they can be a potential fire hazard.
Nevertheless, keeping the following things in mind will help you:
1. Know your device
Some devices are obvious fire hazards — like halogen light globes, irons, toasters, dryers or any appliance that get quite hot while functioning. But any device that overheats, like a TV or washing machine is fire risk, and the reasons can be:
- a faulty installation in the wiring of your home OR the device that left a loose connection sparking somewhere
- a power point that’s sparking
- a worn-out cable in which the insulation has burnt or peeled off
If you are concerned about any of your electrical appliances, Lexity Electrical have state of the art testing equipment. This will give you the peace of mind you need.
2. Don’t overwork devices
Every device has a fixed capacity — even though it may not be obvious. It is tempting to overload a washing machine with ‘just a few more clothes’, or a fridge with too many leftovers. A microwave or dryer that’s not cooled fully before reuse — are likely to break down and potentially cause a fire.
3. Keep devices clean
A washing machine or dryer with the lint uncleaned, the office microwave accumulating spilt food — these appliances are working harder and are force to pull in more power to do their jobs because of the dirt (and so overheating). Ensure your appliances are cleaned after use, or at least once every week.
4. Check for product recalls
When buying a new electrical or electronic product online, do check the internet if the manufacturer has announced a recall. If you get it from a store, ask the dealer. This is especially necessary for complex electronics like TVs, computers, hand-held devices (which you may charge overnight) etc.
5. Check all second-hand devices
If you buy a product over a resale site (like eBay) or from a garage sale, ensure you test it out before you start operating it. Running it in the garage before bringing it inside the house may be a good idea. Call your electrician if you suspect something.
6. Don’t leave home with appliances on
It’s convenient to leave the washing machine or air-conditioning on while you step out for the groceries. Don’t. It’s better to be around in case there’s sparking or overheating — you’ll be able to switch off the main switch and call in an electrician. If you’re going on vacation, unplug everything. Including the fridge.
7. Check your safety switches and RCDs
This is mandatory — no house or office can legally have an electric connection without safety measures installed. Nevertheless, it pays to have the best products installed, and to periodically check that they are functioning. If a RCD (residual current device or safety switch) trips, don’t ignore it -it’s there to keep you safe.
8. Ensure there’s good ventilation for your devices
Appliances such as washing machines, dryers or pumps are often installed in places where they may receive poor ventilation and be exposed to dampness — a good chance for them to short circuit. The same goes for many kitchen appliances.
9. Have an electrician look over every few months
Electrical devices, including the switches and cables go through wear and tear, and exposure to the elements. It’s good to have an electrical check done every few months — to look for frayed insulation, sparking power points, outdated connectors etc. If you’re renting a house, or moving into a pre-owned one, this should not be avoided.
Jackson Scott set up Lexity Electrical after his apprenticeship, with a view to provide professional and timely electrical services in Melbourne.