10 Electrical Hazards to Avoid in Your Home
Electricity is essential for lighting, cooking and for powering everything from mobile phones to TVs. But when used in an unsafe way, electricity can be extremely dangerous. Thankfully, in Singapore electrical safety standards are very high - but accidents can still happen.
Here are 10 common electrical hazards to be aware of. Some of these issues may require the attention of a licensed electrician in Singapore.
1. Faulty or Old Wiring
Old, worn out wiring is one of the most common issues with a home electrical system. It is also one of the most dangerous. Wiring can degrade over time, potentially creating an electrical fire risk. Older wiring systems can also become outdated by new safety legislation/standards.
2. Extension Cords and Adapters
Extension cords are a tripping hazard, so it’s important to arrange them safely. Electrical adapters should not be overloaded, since this could cause the adapter to overheat, potentially causing a fire. Extension cords and adapters should not be used as permanent solutions to your electricity needs; consider installing additional power sockets.
3. Power Sockets and Children
To prevent your child from sticking anything - including their fingers - into a power socket, consider installing outlet protection caps.
4. Replacing Light Bulbs
When replacing light bulbs, ensure the switch is off. If you're unsure if it is in the "on'' or "off" position, turn off the electricity at the mains. Ensure you buy light bulbs of the correct wattage, or they may overheat. And never change a lightbulb with wet hands.
5. Ensure Old Appliances are in Good Condition
Old and worn out appliances can pose a real risk in the home. Frayed or damaged cords can pose an overheat or corrosion risk. Also check mobile phone chargers regularly - as they can be easily damaged.
6. Ensure Pests and Pets Don’t Damage Wiring
Electrical wiring damaged by mice, rats or your own pets can pose a serious risk. If you notice any bite marks from pests, call in pest control. Equally, young puppies have strong jaws and sharp teeth which can cause damage to electrical cords. Keep cords out of sight, and consider using pet repellent on cords to discourage chewing.
7. Water and Electricity Don't Mix
Never use an appliance with wet hands as you may be electrocuted. Never use hair dryers, phones, sound systems or any other appliance near your bath or pool.
8. Don't Keep Appliances Plugged in
Unplug all appliances before you go to bed. This will save you money from "phantom power usage". In the case of your desktop computer or laptop, it will also prevent a power surge caused by lightning - which can completely fry your computer.
9. Irregular Maintenance
If an appliance overheats easily or feels tingly to the touch, you should get it checked out by an electrician. Ideally you should have your home’s electrical system and appliances checked over by licensed electrician annually.
10. Children Unaware of Electrical Risks
It's important to educate your children about the hazards posed by electricity. It's particularly important not to overload power strips, extension cords and adapters. Ensure everything in their room is unplugged at night.
Do you need an electrician?
From blackouts due to overloads, to power supply circuit malfunctioning, to a burnt fuse inside Main Electrical Circuit Board (ELCB) as a result of circuit overload - there are many reasons why you might need to enlist the services of an electrician in Singapore.
But in an emergency, it's not easy to find a reputable electrician, particularly if a problem arises at night. In addition, even a cheap electrician in Singapore can put a dent in your household finances.