Many people in the UK will now be working from home due to the government’s advice to stay protected during the coronavirus outbreak. And now with schools shut, children will become part of our workspace. With these factors, it is essential to maintain electrical safety in your home to keep you and your family safe and not in danger of potential risks. With this in mind, we’ve created a guide to electrical safety in the home, to help you ensure that you are working and living in a safe environment.
Electrical Safety in the Home – Our 5 Top Tips
1. Don’t Overload Outlets
Working from home can mean that we now have extra electronic equipment in our homes, such as computers, laptops, printers etc. But plugging in too many devices into an outlet can cause a small explosion or a fire. Outlets that are installed in your home are designed to deliver a certain amount of electricity, so overloading one with an adapter can cause a fire. A safer option is to use an energy-saving power strip made from a reputable brand, so the energy is more evenly supplied.
2. Avoid the Use of Extension Leads
The long cord that comes with extension leads can be a hazard in itself. If not properly tucked away it can be a tripping hazard, especially when the little ones are away from school. If the lead is tripped on it can cause the plug to be ripped out of the outlet, causing damage to the outlet or the wire inside the lead. If you are needing more outlets to be closer to your area of work, we can offer a professional installation here at JAH.
3. Repair Damaged Cords
If you do come across any leads that have exposed wiring, they need to be replaced or repaired immediately. Exposed wiring is dangerous as it could give you an electric shock or be a major fire risk. Cords can get damaged through excessive usage, deterioration from age, or splitting of the outer coating from being twisted/bent whilst in use. It is best to replace the damaged wires from the appliance to eliminate any dangers, or temporarily ‘repair’ the cords using some electrical tape to hide the damages until they can be replaced.
4. Keep Away From Water
Not everyone has enough room in their households to create a separate working area, some will need to be creative when making an ‘office space’. This could mean that people will find themselves working in rooms such as the kitchen to work in. Whilst everyone knows that it’s common sense to not set up electrical equipment next to the sink (we hope!) if you are working in an area where there is water, be aware of any spillages that may come in to contact with your electronics. Wipe them up and make sure that the entire workspace is dry before setting up to work.
5. Cover Unused Sockets
Keep your children safe whilst you work at home by making sure that safety caps are inserted into sockets that are not in use. If you have multiple cables coming from your equipment, use a cable tidy to enclose them together so they’re out of reach from children. This will also help prevent pets from potentially chewing through the cables. If appliances are not in use switch them off to stop the electrical current running through them. Young children can be tempted to put the cables in their mouths. Keeping all appliances out of reach or sight will prevent children from trying to grab or play with them, and potentially stop themselves from being harmed.
We remain open and operating as usual throughout lockdown. Our electricians are permitted to continue working in other people’s homes to provide essential services. We are taking personal safety precautions (wearing masks and using hand sanitiser) as well as maintaining social distancing.