Today, our homes have a long list of appliances and equipment that accommodate our modern lifestyles. Everything from our TVs and computers, to lights, kitchen appliances and hot water systems are all powered by electricity. We use them every day out of necessity, but are they safe? How much power do they use? These are two important questions every homeowner should ask themselves.
To help, here are top 10 tips compiled by our O’Brien Electrical Experts to help your family use your home electricity safely, particularly given the silly season is about to commence.
Top 10 Expert Electrical Tips all households should know
- Smart use of extension cords
Extension cords are designed to be used temporarily and not permanently. So, if you’re using one in a room to get power to an area, it’s best to call an electrician to have an outlet safely installed where you need it. If you’re having an outdoor party and require power, make sure to buy extension cords that are marked for outdoor use – these tend to be waterproof and thicker to protect the internal wires from the elements.
- The correct use of a power outlet
Each of your power outlets is designed to supply a certain amount of energy. They can pose a safety risk if they become overloaded by plugging several devices into one socket via multiple adaptors. Additionally, if you find that an outlet is warm or consistently flipping the circuit breaker, it can indicate a problem which may lead to a shock or fire hazard. It’s best to get this attended to immediately.
- Electricity and water don’t mix!
This may go without saying, but it’s easy to get complacent. There is water everywhere in our homes, from taps and kitchens, to the laundry and bathrooms. Do not use electronics and plugs when there is a water spill.
- Go solar
Solar power has advanced a long way, and today, it offers a reliable, cheaper and planet-friendly way to power your home. An electrician can help you plan and install solar power panels so you can start reaping the benefits.
- Child-proofing your power
If you have children, you know that they’re always curious. As power sockets are usually located lower down, they are accessible to little fingers. To prevent any safety concerns, consider buying some tamper-resistant receptacles that cover the holes when they’re not in use. Speaking of children, make sure they know how to read and recognise the safety labels and warnings, such as “high voltage” and “danger”. As adults, we can take these for granted, but children may not pay attention to these signs without guidance.
- Replace older appliances and lights
Lighting and appliances, such as hair dryers, downlights and heaters age over time and with it, comes wear and tear on cords and plugs. This can expose wiring and put you at risk, so it’s best to replace them rather than persist. You may also find that newer models and new lighting is far more power efficient too.
- Don’t ignore flickering lights
Flickering lights can indicate an underlying connection problem. It’s easy to overlook a flickering light, but if you find it happens consistently, it’s best to speak to a professional electrician.
- Maintain your air conditioner
It’s just as important to maintain an air conditioner as it is to install it. Having the filter cleaned annually will not only lengthen the life of your investment and ensure it runs optimally, but can also create a healthier atmosphere for your family to breathe in.
- Consider home automation solutions
“Smart home” solutions are no longer a thing of the future. With an experienced electrician, you can automate and control your lighting, audio and temperature devices conveniently and remotely via your phone.
- When in doubt, call a professional electrician.
When it comes to electricity in your home, it’s ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry. Should you notice anything – don’t take the risk. Contact a professionally trained electrician who can see to any concerns and address them safely for you.