Important electricity safety tips

August 27, 2015

Electricity is a shock waiting to kill, and can also provide the spark for a fire. Don't unleash it. Follow the law and always be careful. Here are some important and potentially life-saving safety tips.

Important electricity safety tips

Don't do it yourself

  • The installation of electrical wiring and equipment is governed by regulations and standards.
  • Only a licensed electrician can install fixed wiring and associated lights, power points and fixed appliances such as electric stoves.
  • Non-professionals can replace bulbs and fluorescent tubes, repair fuses, reset circuit breakers, check cords and plugs for damage, and install low-voltage pot lights, provided you follow the instructions.
  • Non-professionals can also assist electricians with unskilled tasks, such as digging ditches.

Switch to safety

  • If you don't have circuit breakers (MCBs) on your switchboard, use safety switches to instantly cut off the power in hazardous situations.
  • Safety switches are available as part of extension cords and wall sockets, and are recommended for use with portable power tools operated outside with an extension cord.
  • Water is a conductor of electricity, so safety switches also offer protection in wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Baby beware!

  • Babies and toddlers can be fascinated with electrical sockets, which, to their innocent eyes, are custom-made for the insertion of tiny objects.
  • Sockets at floor level are an obvious hazard. Keep your little ones safe with childproof safety plugs.
  • Look for plugs with smooth rather than hard edges, as they are much harder for little fingers to grasp and pull out.

Warning shocks

  • If you receive a minor shock from an electrical light, appliance or associated cord, lead, plug or other electrical accessory, stop using it immediately.
  • Don't use it again until an electrician has checked it for safety, and any unsafe items have been repaired or replaced.

Avoid fried chips

  • Power surges, especially those caused by lightning strikes, can easily damage most modern electrical appliances and equipment – particularly computers.
  • To prevent your expensive electronic equipment from being instantly reduced to junk, fit some surge protectors between your equipment and your main electricity supply.
  • But check before you buy: some of the cheaper models of surge protectors (and even some pricier ones) won't protect your electronics from lightning strikes.

Keep these important and life-saving safety tips in mind to keep yourself, your family, your home, and your electronics safe.

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