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Electrical outlets: Safety precautions for your home

October 5, 2016

Damaged or poorly installed electrical outlets can spell disaster for your home. Here are five things you can do to keep your home safe…

Ensuring the electrical safety of your home should be a priority for homeowners. Damaged or poorly installed electrical outlets are a common cause of house fires, and can even put you at risk of electrocution — especially in wet areas such as your kitchen and bathroom.

That’s why it’s so important to ensure your electrical outlets are in good working order. Here are five things you can do to keep your home safe:

1 Inspect your outlets

Faulty or damaged electrical outlets are a common cause of house fires. That’s why it’s so important to regularly inspect the electrical outlets throughout your home. Look for any cracks in the outlet covers, faulty or missing switches, and any outlets that have become loose or have pulled away from the plasterboard wall. But remember, you must have a license to carry out any electrical work in your home, so if you notice damage to any of your outlets it’s important to call in a licensed electrician.

2 Identify poorly installed outlets

Even though it’s illegal to carry out electrical work without a license, that doesn’t stop some enthusiastic DIYers. If you’ve purchased a home that has undergone an amateur renovation, ensure that all outlets have been properly installed. That means they should be positioned high in all wet areas — such as your kitchen and bathroom — to keep them well away from water splashes

3 Practice proper use of plugs

Never unplug an appliance by pulling it out of the electrical outlet from its cord. Rather, grasp the plastic or rubber head of the cord and gently unplug it from the socket. Simply tugging on the cord can cause damage to the electrical outlet and may even pull it out of the wall. Kids tend to be the major offenders in this area, so make sure you teach them how to safely unplug electrical appliances.

4 Only use approved appliances

The rise of online retailers like eBay has put a wide world of products at our fingertips. However, some electrical appliances on sale from overseas manufactures may not comply with Australian electrical standards. Be very careful here. Using cheap foreign electrical appliances may cause a power overload and even result in a house fire.

5 Clean outlets with caution

Electrical outlets can get dirty and may need to be cleaned from time to time. It’s vital to first turn off the power from your fusebox before touching your electrical outlets. Once you’re sure the power is off, clean with a damp cloth or paper towel and ensure they are thoroughly dry before turning the power back on. And avoid using cleaning chemicals — they may be flammable.

 

Look after your electrical outlets with regular inspections, be careful when unplugging appliances, only use appliances that comply with Australian electrical standards, and turn the power off before cleaning electrical outlets, and you’ll keep you home safe and sound.

 

To get help with the replacement or installation of electrical outlets in Newcastle or the Hunter call GKT Group on 1300 766 324.

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