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Electrical Safety >
According to the Fire Protection Association about half of the 10 000 house fires that occur in SA each year are caused by an electrical
Too many appliances plugged into a single outlet could indicate that your home does not have enough electrical outlets or capacity
to meet your current needs.
These fires, including the terrible infernos that rage through informal settlements result in at least
300 to 400 more deaths a year with thousands of people having to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
says, homeowners should be more alert to the following warning signs that all is not well with their electrical system, so that they
can switch off the mains as soon as possible and call in a qualified electrician to rectify the problem.
- Receiving a shock from any
appliance, such as a toaster, stove or washing machine.
- The smell of burning metal or plastic which may indicate a loose or
broken connection, a malfunctioning switch or light fixture, overheating components, arcing or sparking inside the walls or damaged
- Flickering or dimming lights, which could also indicate a loose connection, overloaded circuits, improper wiring, or arcing
and sparking inside the walls. Hot, discoloured switch plates, cords or plugs, which indicate an overload or product malfunction.
- Overloaded wall outlets. Too many appliances plugged into a single outlet could indicate that your home does not have enough electrical
outlets or capacity to meet your current needs.
- A wavering picture on the TV or computer screen when a large appliance such as the
stove is turned on. This could mean you have too many appliances plugged into one circuit, or that your home needs additional electrical
Homeowners would be even better advised to take precautions to avoid electrical problems from occurring in the first place,
beginning by having the electrical system properly inspected.
The International Electrical Safety Foundation recommends an inspection
for any house more than 40 years old and for any house more than 10 years old that has had any major renovation or major appliance
added. It also says all homes should be inspected at the time of resale, as is compulsory in SA.
In addition you should never:
- Tamper with appliances while they’re plugged in, sticking a knife into the toaster being the classic example.
- Touch any electrical
appliance such as a hairdryer or shaver if your hands are wet.
- Keep using any appliance such as a kettle or a heater that causes the
power to trip.
- Use power tools for anything other than their original purpose, or without wearing shoes.
- Walk bare feet while using
an electric lawnmower.
- Use electrical cords or extensions with exposed wires.
- Try to move a fallen outdoor power cable – rather stay
well clear and call in an expert as soon as possible.
Article by My Property
Inspected once, Inspected Right!®
Electrically-powered lights, appliances, TVs and other technology are so commonplace now that most people don’t think much about electricity,
except perhaps during a power failure or when the monthly municipal bill
So it is no surprise really that most homeowners
are unaware of potential electrical hazards around their houses, or of the personal and financial losses they can cause.
to Eskom, many people who die or suffer serious injury from electric shock every year in South Africa do so as a result of illegal
activities such as cable theft, unlawful connections and vandalism.
However, many also die because of negligence or carelessness around
electrical wiring, plugs and appliances.
Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners
Have A Certified Professional Protect Your Investment