How to prevent electrical fires and shocks in your home

Faulty electrical wiring in your home can do more than just inflict a little electric shock. It can result in the outbreak of a fire or even lead to a major, fatal electrocution. This is why it is essential to be aware of the electrical hazards inside your property and to do what you can to minimise the risks associated with them.

Keep an eye on sockets and lights around the home

Defective wiring isn't always immediately obvious; in order to spot it before it does any serious damage, you need to be vigilant. Get into the habit of checking your plug sockets on a regular basis. Touch them with your hand; if they feel warm, it could mean that there is a problem with the property's electrical system. Plug sockets will heat up if the wiring has become worn or if the electrical load being placed on the circuit is excessively high.

In this type of situation, there is a strong possibility that an electrical fire could break out. As such, if you notice a hot socket anywhere in your home, it's crucial to have a qualified electrician to examine the property's wiring as soon as possible.

Additionally, keep an eye on the lights around your house. If they're constantly flickering and you have ruled out innocuous causes (such as a loose or broken light bulb, for example), this issue may be a symptom of a fault within the main electrical unit.

Take care when carrying out hot water maintenance work

If you own an electric hot water heater, it's important to approach any attempts at maintenance with great caution. Hot water heaters which are run on electricity usually feature a heating element which, if allowed to deteriorate, can short out. If you come into contact with an element that's in this condition, in the presence of water, there is a significant risk of electrocution.

As such, you should only undertake hot water maintenance work if you feel confident in your abilities to perform the task safely. Additionally, you must make sure that you use appropriate equipment; at the very minimum, you should wear thick rubber gloves and boots and use insulated tools. If you need to climb a ladder to access the hot water system, use one which is made from a non-conductive material; fibreglass is usually the safest option.

If you have even the slightest concern about your skills in regards to this type of electrical maintenance, do not carry out this work. Instead, have a reputable electrician do it for you.