Have a Safe Summer With These Electrical Safety Tips
The summer months are all about gathering with the family for alfresco meals, spending sunny afternoons pottering in the garden and getting the house in tiptop shape with some DIY. But with such activities comes the use of potentially hazardous equipment. So, the experts at Electrical Safety First, have put together some handy electrical safety tips to help you have a safe summer.
Electric fans can be a blessing during the hottest nights of the year, but many don’t realise that these handy gadgets can quickly overheat. Over the years, there have been numerous news articles about fires starting from faulty electric fans. So, if you want to keep your property cool during summer, always buy one from a reputable source. Avoid secondhand electrical items and register your product online, so that if the manufacturer recalls the item, you’ll be the first to know. In fact, there have been 560 electrical product recalls since 2007, Electrical Safety First reports.
Of course, the summer is the perfect time to head outside and get the garden in order. Big gardening projects often require electrical equipment, so it’s best to take extra safety precautions. Firstly, only ever use electrical equipment outside in dry conditions – you already know that water and electricity don’t mix!
Always buy good quality equipment from a reputable manufacturer and store it in a dry place. You may also want to consider buying a Residual Current Device (RCD). These protect against electric shocks and reduce the risk of electrical fires. These additional tips should help with garden safety this summer:
- Keep electrical power cables in your sight to ensure you don’t accidentally cut through them
- Always wear gloves, goggles and solid shoes
- Switch off and unplug your electrical device before cleaning it
- Maintain your cables, keeping them uncoiled to avoid overheating or damage.
During those long, warm summer evenings, you’ll want to be outside making the most of the good weather. So, it’s likely you’ll want to install some outdoor lighting. To ensure the electrical safety of your lighting, always buy quality products from a reputable source and ensure the lights are designed to be used outdoors. They should be weatherproof and designed to be exposed to water. Be sure to check the lights regularly for damage or deterioration, and if any issues are identified, call in a qualified electrician to carry out repairs.
Nothing quite says summer like a good old-fashioned barbecue. But, it goes without saying that these handy outdoor grills can be tricky to tackle. So, there are things you need to know in order to keep yourself and others safe. Never use a barbecue indoors or take one inside a temporary outdoor shelter, like a tent or summerhouse. Barbecues give off fumes that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, so they should only ever be used outside. When you set your barbecue up, make sure it’s in an open space, away from buildings. Additionally, always follow the operating instructions and check for damage before use. Furthermore:
- Place your barbecue on level ground
- Ensure disposable barbecues are placed on a non-combustible surface and ensure they’re cold before disposing of them
- If you’re using a gas barbecue, turn off the gas taps before changing the cylinder and always do so outside
- Turn off the gas cylinder before turning off the barbecue, to ensure any gas left in the pipe is diffused
During summer you might have some spare time on your hands, so you may want to head inside and undertake some DIY tasks. If so, then there are some things to bear in mind before getting started. Every year, 350,000 people are injured by electrical accidents and some incidents can be fatal. So, electrical safety is extremely important. These top five tips from Electrical Safety First will definitely help you avoid injury or property damage:
- Locate cables in your wall before drilling or nailing anything into it. A cable detector can help you with this
- Use an RCD, which will cut off the power in the event of an electrical fault. You can have one fitted into your fuse box, or you can opt for a plug-in device instead
- If you’re working near electrical wiring or power supplies, shut off the power and use battery-operated tools
- Before using tools, check they are in good condition with no exposed wires or signs of damage
- Avoid any electrical problems in the home by seeking advice from a professional, qualified electrician.
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