It’s easy to use electricity safely at home if you take care
If not treated with care, electricity can cause serious harm or even death. Below are some simple precautions you can take to stay safe when living with electricity in general, or working near our electricity distribution network.
CIDEC Pty Ltd can provide guidance on electrical safety and efficiency at home.
Tips for maintaining electrical appliances and equipment
Use these simple tips for keeping electrical appliances and equipment in good working order and making your home safe:
> Never use a faulty electrical appliance, or one that has a frayed cord, cracked or broken plug, or any appliance that has given someone any kind of shock. Frayed or damaged cords should be replaced immediately. Many old plugs do not have safety barriers between the connections – replace them with modern plugs
> Do not attempt to repair faulty electrical appliances yourself. Leave it to a qualified repairman or licensed electrician
Have appliances serviced in accordance with the manufacturers instructions
> Clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer after each use
>Electric blankets should be checked at the start of each winter for damaged wires, plugs, leads and hot spots. If the electric blanket is damaged, you should get it replaced immediately
>Remove any build-up of materials around the electric motor of exhaust fans (eg. fluff, dust, lint, etc)
>Regularly clean range hood filters
>Clean ovens and hot plates regularly to prevent the build-up of spilled fats and burnt foods
>Do not touch or attempt to repair a loose, cracked or broken power point switch. Cover them up and have them replaced by a professional. Contact a Registered Electrical Contractor.
>Household cleaners, detergents and insecticides may cause cracking and create an electrical hazard if sprayed on electrical accessories
Managing trees around powerlines
Trees growing in close proximity to power lines are a safety risk to your personal safety and can cause fires, blackouts or power surges.
Before you attempt to prune branches or foliage, take a moment to survey the area for overhead powerlines. If trees are touching or in close proximity to the line, ask an expert to do the job.
Look up and live
Do not fly kites or model aeroplanes anywhere near overhead powerlines/wires. If you see fallen and sagging wires don’t go near them, stand guard and notify the local electricity authority or police. Visit Energy Safe Victoria for more details and safety tips for safe working conditions outdoors and avoiding injury or death by electrocution.
Water and electricity
Swimming pools and electricity can be a fatal mix. Electric shocks received in the vicinity of a swimming pool are more likely to be fatal than those received in other locations, as bare feet, minimum clothing and wet skin reduce your body’s resistance. Never use a portable electrical appliance or place an extension cord where it could be splashed or fall into the pool.
Caravans and power supplies
Ensure that the supply cord to your caravan is in good condition and rated at 15 amps. Beware of overhead powerlines and wires when erecting your TV antennas.
Keep clear of electric wires attached to your house or shed. When using a metal ladder, you are standing on metallic contact with the ground, which increases the risk of receiving a shock. Keep the flexible cord of your electric edge trimmer or lawn mower away from the blade when in use. If the cord is damaged, don’t touch the edge trimmer or mower – switch power off at the plug.
Dial before you dig
Be careful where you dig, as there may be buried cables. If there is any doubt, call Dial Before You Dig on 1100 or visit www.dialbeforeyoudig.com.au.