Electrical safety around the home

Follow these simple tips for keeping electrical appliances and equipment in good working order and making your home safe.

Stay safe around electricity in your home 

  • Don’t overload electrical adaptors by plugging too many appliances into one socket, especially those with a high electrical current rating such as kettles, irons and heaters.
  • Avoid ‘piggybacking’ adaptors, instead use a power board with a built-in safety device.
  • Never use an ageing or faulty electrical appliance including an appliance with a frayed cord, cracked or broken plug, or any appliance that has given someone any kind of shock.
  • Do not attempt to repair faulty electrical appliances yourself – only qualified repair technicians or a licensed electrician can repair appliances.
  • Do not touch or attempt to repair a loose, cracked or broken power point switch – cover it immediately and arrange for a licensed electrician to replace it.
  • If you experience any of these warning signs, call your landlord or a licensed electrician immediately:

✘ You feel a tingling sensation when you touch a plug or light switch.
✘ Your circuit breaker trips frequently or fuses blow regularly.
✘ An appliance gives off a faint rubbery or burning smell.
✘ Your outlet plates are warm to the touch or discoloured.
✘ An electrical appliance has been waterlogged or submersed in any liquid (throw away immediately).
✘ An outlet sparks.
✘ Your lights dim or flicker.

  • Overloading your electrical circuits and tripping the circuit breaker or blowing a fuse can happen, but it is not normal for it to happen repeatedly. If you are experiencing a frequently tripping breaker, consult a professional electrician.
  • Check your powerboard regularly for wear and tear. If the powerboard is damaged or the connections are loose, stop using it and replace it.
  • Ensure all power leads are tucked out of the way or secured to help prevent trip and fall hazards. This is especially important if children are running around the home as they can easily catch their feet on loose power cords.
  • Only use light bulbs with the wattage displayed on the appliance. If there is no indication on the product, do not use a bulb higher than 60 watts.
  • Check your electric blanket for damage before using it and look for any kinks, worn or exposed wires, or scorch marks. A good tip is to check them each time you change your sheets.
  • Never use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket at the same time.
  • Never use a metal object to remove anything from a toaster.
  • Never pull an electrical cord from the wall, always use the plug.
  • Always treat all electrical equipment as live at all times.