Did you know that 40% of house fires in NSW each year are caused by electrical faults and electrical appliances? Source: NSW Government
The harsh reality is, up to 1800 house fires could have been prevented each year by practising simple electrical hazard preventative measures. This includes calling a licenced electrician to safety-proof your building.
Hiring an electrician to assess your household safety is the first step to troubleshooting electrical hazards in their early stages. Additionally, there are small steps you can take to minimise the risk of an electrical fire.
To give you peace of mind, we’ve outlined our top 5 tips for electrical fire prevention and safety for your building.
Smoke alarms are designed to protect you from the unexpected. Although some people may never experience their value first-hand; having correctly installed smoke alarms in your home that meet the requirements of the Annual Fire Safety Statement can save your life.
It’s critical that all smoke alarms are checked annually to ensure they function correctly. Keep in mind, if they are not properly installed, they may not work properly! They must be inspected by a licensed electrician or qualified manufacturer, who should ask when the batteries were last replaced. With the exception of long-lasting lithium batteries, it is a requirement that batteries are replaced every 12 months. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to remember to change the batteries.
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On any given day a resident may use several electrical appliances in their home. What many individuals don’t realise is that their favourite electrical appliances can have the potential to start a fire. As winter is fast approaching, appliances that give off heat, such as portable heaters need to be moved with caution. It can be easy to position a portable heater near a combustible object, which can lead to a fire.
As a general rule, you should keep all heat-producing appliances unplugged when they are not in use. Always triple check hair straighteners, heaters and stovetops are switched off before you leave the house.
A leading cause of an electrical fire is ‘overlamping.’ ‘Overlamping’ is caused by installing a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for a light fixture. This causes the socket to heat and melt the wire’s fixture and can result in flammable electrical discharge. Checking the watt rating before purchasing a new bulb is a simple way to prevent ‘overlamping.’ It is important to note that using a lower wattage is fine, but using a higher wattage is extremely hazardous.
If you need electrical support, we recommend seeking advice from an experienced electrician who can assess the state of your home lighting. A qualified electrician practices safety precautions every day and can make recommendations to improve your electrical safety.
We know many homeowners have a sentimental attachment to their vintage appliances. However, knowing when it’s time for an upgrade is a key component of fire safety. A possible indication of an appliance that should be replaced is faulty wiring or damaged cords or simply your awareness that the product has been on its ‘last legs’ for several years!
Be sure to be proactive in replacing any ‘ancient’ appliances instead of waiting for them to cark it. If you spot a broken plug or frayed cord in any appliance, don’t plug it in again before it’s repaired or replaced. This is because the damaged or broken cords can send heat into flammable materials. As a result, the appliance could trip your power, or spark while in use. If this is the case, unplug the appliance immediately!
The best advice to prevent electrical fires in your building is a safety audit conducted by one of our knowledgeable team members. We offer a free safety audit when you book any service with our team. This involves assessing the safety of all electrical related components of your home from back to front, including smoke alarms, your lighting condition, the condition of your light switches and power points.
Our team of experienced electricians practice electrical safety every day and can easily identify a fire hazard that may be overlooked by another individual.
Is electrical safety something keeping you up at night? It doesn’t need to be this way. Give us a call on 0416 796 614.