Electrical incidents kill or injure around 16 Aussies each week, with 13% of these incidents involving children under the age of 14. These statistics increase during the holiday season, so electrical safety must always be top priority. Stay safe this holiday season with this electrical safety checklist:
1. Check the compliance of all electrical products
The market is saturated with electrical products that are not compliant with Australian Safety Standards, including Christmas decorations. Be alert to these, and know what to look out for. When looking for electrical decorations, always choose products with an Australian Product Approval Number or RCM (Regulatory Compliance Mark).
2. Manage cables correctly
Extension cords and boards can be a hazard, so plan how you are going to use them. Make sure leads are always taped to the floor and are carefully placed around furniture to avoid anyone tripping over them. Don’t place them anywhere they could overheat and potentially melt, especially near heaters. Use a longer extension lead if necessary, instead of connecting multiple shorter cords. Avoid ‘piggy backing’ adapters. Use Australian approved extension cords with three pins, as two pin extension boards are not earthed, meaning it is less safe.
3. Install a safety switch
It’s always a good idea to install a safety switch in your meter box as they automatically monitor the power output of your line and will cut off the power if it detects anything unusual or harmful. It may cost a little extra, but your safety is more important than your back pocket.
4. Water and electricity do not mix
Water and electricity are a lethal combination. Never leave appliances anywhere they could be splashed by water, for example a sink or bathtub. Turn off all electrical appliances after use and don’t clean on or around electrical accessories such as power outlets and light switches with a wet cloth, household cleaners or detergents. Sounds logical, but the number of incidents involving water and electricity are alarming.
5. Turn off all lights and electrical decorations
When your Christmas lights and decorations are not in use, turn them off and unplug them, especially before going to bed. Never leave the lights on overnight.
6. Don’t let electronics overheat
In the summer time, electronics can easily run hot, so it’s important that you always check they’re not too hot, otherwise they could overheat and become a burning hazard. On those hot summer days, check how much heat is radiating from the back of your electronics, like computers. If it becomes too hot, ensure that it is not near anything that could melt. Even better, turn off and unplug the electronic device so that it doesn’t overheat. Better to be safe than sorry!
(c) Budget Direct