ELECTRICAL SAFETY: Introduction
Electricity is everywhere in our homes, and it's a very useful
part of our lives. Yet it only takes one old or poorly wired plug to
prove just how dangerous it can be. The wires don't even need
to be near a flame in to jump and a fire to start.
Don't get too casual with electricity. Just because there's no
flame doesn't mean there's no fire risk.
Let us now show you what to be alert for, what to check, and
what not to do to ensure that your lives are not potentially in
ELECTRICAL SAFETY: What to Check
Watch out for hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow for no
obvious reason, flickering lights, scorch marks on sockets or
plugs. They're all signs of loose wiring or other problems.
Badly wired plugs
If the coloured wires are sticking out of the plug, not only could
they be pulled loose but water and debris could get inside the
If you plug too many appliances into an adaptor you could overload the
socket, which can lead to overheating. See the plugs and cables page
for details of correct use.
Cables in vulnerable positions
Don't leave power leads where they can be tripped over, near a source
of water, or close to the cooker top, especially if there are loose coils
that could be pushed onto a ring.
Water near electrics
Don't let cables or plugs get wet, and keep liquids away from electrical
appliances. Don't put a vase on top of the TV, for example. Make sure
the kettle isn't leaking, and don't fill it up when it's plugged in.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY: Plugs and Cables
Fraying power leads
The outer covering of a power lead must not be damaged.
Wire plugs carefully
The outer covering of the power lead should go inside the plug and be
secured there. Inside the plug the wires should be held firmly in their
Make sure the right colour wires go in the right places.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY: Dealing with
The basic rule in fires is that you should put people's
safety above every other consideration. With
electrical fires don't take any risks - get everyone out
call the help.
With electrical fires, it's vital that you do things right.
- Pull the plug out or switch off the power at the fuse
box. This may stop the fire immediately.
- Never use water on it.