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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 short.

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.
Consequently, he 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.
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:
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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.

According 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

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