Every year, around 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries in UK homes are caused by faulty electrics and electrical equipment, and almost half of all UK domestic fires are caused by electricity (source: Electrical Safety First). There have been many in Wales this year…
Apparently, millions of us are using electricity unsafely in the home, so here are some top family tips for reducing electrical fire and electric shock risk.
Here they are:
1. So, your teenage girl or trendy husband likes singing into their curling tongs or hairdryer?! Well, make sure they don’t get too carried away belting out Adele or Tom Jones to leave them switched on, plugged in and touching things they really shouldn’t, like curtains. In fact, tell your hubbie to leave his curtains in the 1990’s.
2. 1 in 10 burns amongst children are from hair straighteners! Switch off. Put away.
3. Okay, it’s true: your phone battery dies every few hours these days. But, when you’re lucky enough for it not to be plugged into its charger, turn off the charger – or little ones might put the cords in their mouths. Same for other unconnected appliances.
4. It’s hard enough getting some children just to have a bath or shower, but there’s another important job after the “big wash”: dry them off FULLY before they even go close to electricity, like pre-bed TV or games consoles (if they’re allowed!).
Source: Pezibear via pixabay
5. Sure, when the kids have gone to bed, you’re probably busy resting, catching up on washing or sleeping but here’s another daily joy: double-check all unnecessary electrical equipment is turned off before bed (it’s best just to turn stuff off ASAP) – because fires can spread quickly, especially while you sleep.
6. Don’t leave washing machines, dryers and the likes on overnight – or it could be your house that tumbles down and your lives that are put into a fast spin.
Source: david55king via flickr.com
7. Trying to show off your #madskills to your family and kicked your football over a fence? Well, if it has one of these scary-looking signs on it, be… scared. Did you know, the electric company will come and get your ball from a substation if you call?
Source: Yaniv Golan via Compfight cc
8. Who loves oranges soda?! Certainly not your TV’s, computers, games consoles, DVD players, stereos, and other electrical appliances! Keep drinks away from them!
9. Preparing for the arrival of your first child and doing some electrical DIY? Be less Mr Bean and be more bambi – take your time and read this advice.
10. Don’t buy poor-quality phone chargers off the internet – it could kill your family dog. 8 million chargers are bought online each year in the UK but they are “often” poor quality.
11. It’s official. Climbing a tree is the Number 1 thing to do before you’re 11¾! But, ever thought to look up and check for power lines before a great climb? You don’t even have to touch the power line – the electricity can go through the tree and into you.
Source: jedidja via pixabay
12. You might be tempted to sit back and get your young, fit whipper-snappers to mow your lawn, cut your hedge and what not, but the advice is to remain vigilant – these things can cut through their own cables and are potential electrical hazards.
Source: whatsthatpicture via flickr.com
13. Like your children (or you, in your day) probably learned in Pokémon, water and electricity can be a deadly combo. Summer might mean pleasure, paddling pools and parasols, but don’t let wet kids near plugs, or there’ll be problems and pain, too.
Source: Bagogames via flickr.com
14. Flying your kite can be so much fun. But, not near power lines or stations. Period.
Source: Karen Blaha via flickr.com
So, these are our pick of family situations that you might find yourself in, but there will be many more and you can get more advice by searching online or searching #EFSW on social media.
All of our fire services in Wales offer free home safety checks (and they take just a couple of minutes!), so consider getting one now! Without sounding too doom and gloom, why not think up your fire escape route for your home and family members right now?!
You can also try an “ampage” calculator, like North Wales Fire & Rescue Service’s here, which will tell you if you are overloading your sockets. NWFRS has also got loads of scare stories that might make you realise how serious being switched on to electrical safety really is.
It’s deadly serious.
Cover photo credit: Angus Thermopylae via Compfight cc