1. Look after appliance cords
Keep electrical appliances, their cords and any extension leads away from water. Ensure cords are in good condition – if they’re worn or frayed, don’t use the appliance until it’s been repaired by a licensed electrician.
If you decide to throw away the appliance, make sure it can’t be used by someone else.
Only ever disconnect an appliance at the outlet by pulling the plug, not the cord. This extends the life of your appliance.
2. Avoid piggy-back or ‘double adaptor’ connections
Overloading can occur if too many cords are connected to outlets designed for only one or two plugs. Use power boards with in-built safety devices to avoid a power outlet overload.
3. Childproof your outlets
Use childproof plugs in electrical outlets to deter children from poking small items into them
4. Get a licensed electrician to do your wiring
Call a licensed electrician if you need electrical wiring or repairs, no matter how minor the job.
5. Install safety switches
Have safety switches installed at your meter box. As a general rule, electrical equipment should only be used when connected to a safety switch.
6. Test safety switches
Testing every three months is a good rule of thumb. To do this you just need to press the ‘test’ or ‘T’ button.
If the switch turns off the power, then it’s working correctly. Keep in mind though that the use of safety switches doesn’t mean you can be less careful when using electricity – they are no substitute for proper electrical maintenance and safe practices.
7. Look out for overhead lines
Avoid coming into contact with overhead lines. If you’re working near them, always keep a safe distance – at least 6.4 metres for wires on poles and 10 metres for wires on towers. Keep this in mind when installing antennas, picking fruit or pruning trees, and using a ladder or a metal tape measure.
8. Look out for underground power lines
Know the location of any underground power lines before digging at your property. Call the Dial Before You Dig national referral service on 1100 .
9. Look out for water leaks
Water is a good conductor of electricity. If water leaks into the light or power circuits in your home, a fault may develop, which could result in a fire or someone experiencing electric shock. As soon as you notice a water leak, have it repaired by a licensed plumber.
10. In the event of electric shock
If you feel a tingle when you touch a water fitting, the grounding of your electrical installation could be faulty. If it’s safe to do so, shut off the power at the main switch (usually found in the meter box) and call a licensed electrician to investigate.
If you go to help someone who’s receiving an electric shock, turn off the power at the main switch first. If the current can’t be turned off, use a non-conducting object, such as a broom, chair, rug or rubber doormat to push the person away from the source of the current.
If possible, stand on something dry that doesn’t conduct electricity, such as a rubber mat or folded newspapers.
Call 000 for emergency assistance and stay with the person until help arrives.
11. Electrical Safety During a Storm
If your power is lost during a storm, it’s a good idea to turn off and unplug your electrical appliances. Don’t use or attempt to repair electrical appliances that may have been damaged by rain or flooding. Have them checked with a qualified electrician first.
12. POWER LEADS
Be careful when you’re using electrical appliances or extension cords near wet areas like sinks, bathrooms and swimming pools.
13. Know where the switchboard is located
Make sure you know where your switchboard is located. Keep access to it clear and label the switches, circuit breakers and fuses so you always know what’s what.
Make sure your appliances have adequate breathing space so they don’t overheat.
15. Turn off appliances
Turn off power points and appliances when you’re not using them, or if you’re leaving home.
16. Electrical fires
Fire blankets and extinguishers are a great way to smother small fires, but you should always call 000 in the case of an emergency.
- Fire blankets and extinguishers are a great way to smother small fires, but you should always call 000 in the case of an emergency.
- If it’s safe to do so, turn off and unplug electrical appliances that may be affected.
- If you decide to invest in an extinguisher, make sure you choose one that’s right for your intended use (e.g. cooking oil and fat fires).
- Never throw water on an electrical fire as you could electrocute yourself.
- If your clothing catches fire, be sure to “stop, drop and roll” until the flames have been extinguished entirely.
17. Electric shocks
Always call 000 straight away to get medical assistance if someone is experiencing an electrical shock.
- If there is no danger of you also being electrocuted, switch off the power and pull out the plug.
- If you can’t turn the appliance off safely, use something that won’t conduct electricity to free the shock victim from the electric current. This could be heavy duty insulating gloves; something made of rubber, dry cloth or cured dry wood.
- Protect yourself and anyone else from the possibility of further shocks.
- Don’t touch the victim’s skin until they’re completely free of the electrical current.
- If you’re trained in CPR, you should attempt to resuscitate the shock victim as soon as they’re no longer in contact with the electrical current.
- Never attempt to rescue a person where a high voltage electrical current is involved. Reach straight for the phone and call 000.
18. Extra Circuits in your home
Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
19. Something not quite right?
If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.
Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage.