Electric shocks can be fatal, yet they are almost always preventable. From knowing how to deal with electrical emergencies, right through to keeping yourself out of harm’s way, read on for some electrical safety tips that could one day save you or your family’s life.
Whether it’s a fallen power line, an electrical fire or someone has experienced an electrical shock, stay calm and call 000 immediately for further instructions.
Dial Before You Dig
It’s often the hidden underground utilities that pose the biggest risk. Whether you’re a tradie or not, if you’re planning to dig a hole it’s important to know whether it’s safe to do so. Always call 1100 or visit the Dial Before You Dig website to confirm whether your project doesn’t pose any hidden dangers.
When your power goes out, give your electrical provider a call and see if the issue is on their end. Since they own and operate the poles, wires and meters that run power to your home, they should be able to tell you straight away. If they don’t have any answers for you, call in your local electrician to inspect it further.
If you’ve had a power outage due to storm activity, you should switch off and unplug your electrical appliances. Never attempt to salvage electrical appliances that have been damaged by a storm on your own! Have a local electrician check them out first.
Electrical Safety Equipment
If you want to make sure you and your family stay as safe as possible, it’s vital to integrate all of these safety features into your home.
Circuit Breaker (or RCBO)—Designed to cut off the power supply when the circuit is overloaded, these devices are great for preventing electrical fires. Whether it’s a faulty electrical appliance or a power board overloading, your circuit breaker can save you!
Safety Switches—These are designed to switch off your power supply instantly after an electrical fault occurs. Essentially, it’s your safety insurance in case of an electrical shock and they’re purpose-built to prevent serious injury. If you aren’t sure whether your home is fitted, have an electrician take a look.
Smoke Alarms—Every home should already have a smoke alarm installed. Be sure to test your smoke alarm weekly by pushing the test button and change the batteries yearly, or as soon as they start beeping for no reason.
Fire Blankets & Extinguishers—You can purchase these fire safety devices from your local hardware store. Make sure you read the instructions and know how to work them before any emergencies arise, that way you can act quickly.
Safety Plugs—Any parent will know just how inquisitive children can be. It’s important to make sure all your power sockets are covered with safety plugs, so they don’t go inserting objects where they shouldn’t. You should also try to educate your children on electrical safety as soon as possible.
Quick Tip: Since you’re getting an electrician in already, it could also be a good opportunity to make your home more energy efficient. It could be something as simple as replacing your current lighting with some energy efficient LEDs!