Electricity can be dangerous and as we get more comfortable using it, we can also become more complacent. The following tips will help to keep you and your family safe when using electrical equipment;
- Turn off appliances that are not in use and before removing its plug from a power point.
- Only use one double adaptor per power point.
- Check appliances regularly and stop using an appliance immediately if it becomes faulty. Ensure it’s checked by a licensed electrical contractor before using it again.
- Never insert metal objects into an appliance or power point. Use safety covers to prevent or discourage children from doing this. Safety covers can be purchased from Kidsafe WA and most hardware or baby stores.
- Never leave electrical appliances unattended around children
Water and electricity do not mix!
Never touch an electrical appliance if you are wet or near water. Ensure your hands are dry before touching appliances or switches. Avoid using electrical appliances in the bathroom, near swimming pools or anywhere that they can fall into water. Always clean up water spills on the floor and if liquid spills into an electrical appliance, unplug it and have it checked by a licensed electrical contractor before using it again. Only clean or submerge appliances in water if the manufacturer’s instructions clearly state that it is safe to do so.
Install a residual current device
A residual current device (RCD) is a safety switch that helps protect you and your family from electrocution. When an RCD detects a problem with your power supply, it switches the power off to prevent electric shock. All residential homes sold or leased in Western Australia after August 2009 must have a minimum of two RCDs protecting all power point and lighting circuits. To have a RCD installed in your home or business, speak to an electrical contractor.
First aid for electric shock
Switch off power before touching the child. Use a non-conductive material to remove the child from the electrical supply e.g. wooden broom handle. If the child is unconscious commence resuscitation and seek medical assistance.
Renovations and home maintenance
When renovating or doing home maintenance, do not risk causing harm to yourself or your family by doing your own electrical work. Use a licensed electrical contractor. Switch the power off at the main switch if you are doing any household maintenance or renovations. Light fittings, switches and power points are connected to live wires, even when switched off, and should not be removed for painting.
Damaged or worn cords
Damaged or worn cords are the most common cause of electrical accidents. Take care not to stretch or damage an electrical cord and always hold the plug, not the cord, to remove it from a power point. Check electrical cords and power points regularly and replace those that are damaged or worn.
Trees or branches touching powerlines are one of the main causes of power interruptions and may cause fires or other serious accidents. Trees should be trimmed when they are too close to powerlines. In the north of Western Australia, trees should also be trimmed before the summer cyclone season. Trees in the Midwest and southern parts of the State should be trimmed before winter. If the trees at your home need to be trimmed, it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional tree contractor that has the correct training and experience to carry out the work.
In an emergency
Report any electrical incidents or faults immediately to Horizon Power by telephoning 13 23 51
In emergency situations, dial 000