Electricity is so common that most of us will simply take it for granted. The fact that our appliances are powered by convenient electricity supplies has certainly changed our lives for the better, but how we use it should still be carefully considered. While modern appliances are usually safe, when abused, electricity can be dangerous and even lethal. Having said that, there are a number of straightforward ways to protect yourself and your family from potentially dangerous electrics:

  • Never handle wet electronics, or when your hands are wet. Water conducts electricity and combining the two increases your risk of suffering an electric shock or starting an electrical fire. Always ensure that your hands are dry before handling electrics, and never use electronics in the bathroom unless marked as safe to do so
  • Book annual PAT tests for your electrical appliances. This is a quick procedure where an electrician will determine their fitness for purpose and determine whether or not they are safe to use. Although most faults can be found visually, PAT testing identifies invisible ones and can give important advance notice on when products may no longer be safe
  • Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead. This may cause an electric fire or explosion. Space for six plugs does not mean that it is safe or sensible to use all of them, and it is worth using an overload calculator. These are commonly available online
  • In the event of an electrical fire breaking out, never attempt to extinguish it with water. As water conducts electricity, this is actually the most dangerous response possible. If it safe to do so, disconnect the fire’s source of electricity, and only attempt to use an extinguisher certified for electrical fire usage