Improving Electrical Safety In Your Home

By Swindon Link - 9 October 2023

Home and Garden

Electricity is a major part of daily life in the UK, powering our leisure time, helping us work, and keeping us warm and happy. Because of how important it is and how often we use it, it’s really easy to forget just how dangerous it can be. Mains electricity carries 230 volts, which can cause a lot of damage if you come into contact with it. Serious electric shocks can be fatal, and electrical accidents can also cause fires and property damage.


Whether you live alone or with family, it’s important that you understand the risks of electricity and how to stay protected. In this article, you’ll learn about potential electrical dangers, how to avoid them and the best ways to stay safe.

Electrical Risks

Throughout our homes, we access the mains electricity by plugging our devices into sockets. The UK power socket is designed with safety in mind, constructed from an insulative material and using a ground wire. However, there are still a lot of dangers and risks to be aware of when using them.

Household electrical accidents in the UK reportedly cause 70 deaths and around 35,000 injuries. Direct contact with electrical current can cause burns, shocks and even cardiac arrest. In addition, improper use of electrical devices may lead to fire.

When using your electrical devices, it’s important to follow the guidelines to prevent damage and safety risks. All devices will be rated to a certain voltage, and using too many volts may be dangerous. Be mindful of potential risks, and ensure you follow these safety tips.

Avoid Overloading Sockets

Electrical sockets are designed to power our devices safely, but if you use them incorrectly, you could be at risk. Each socket will support a specific number of plugs, but extensions and adapters allow you to place multiple plugs into one socket. This can be extremely dangerous, as it will draw too much power and may overheat. Some devices also draw a lot more power than others, so check to see what kind of voltage is being drawn. If you do use an extension, be sure to unplug devices that aren’t currently being used.

Be Aware of Damage to Devices

Damaged devices and cables are one of the biggest causes of electric shocks. If your device is in good condition and you’re using it safely, the protective insulative covering should always protect you from shock. However, damage to this covering could mean you’re directly exposed to a live electrical current. Check for damage on devices, including cuts, burns and scratches to cables. If you do spot damage, be sure to unplug the device and stop using it immediately.

Keep Sources of Heat Away from Flammable Materials

Some electrical devices, such as toasters and hair straighteners, are designed to produce heat. While this is useful for their purpose, it does create a fire risk. Always make sure that any sources of heat are kept well away from things that might be flammable. This includes furniture, some cosmetics, bed linen and clothing. Some devices may also produce heat when in use. Ensure that they have sufficient air circulation to keep cool.

Avoid DIY Electrical Work

Unless you’re a qualified electrician, it’s best to stay away from DIY electrical work. It can be very dangerous, especially if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. You can still replace lightbulbs and fuses but call in the professionals if your wiring needs to be fixed. If you are carrying out any work, make sure you shut off the power beforehand and use battery-operated power tools to complete.

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