Years ago our family suffered a terrible tragedy as a result of electric shock. A seemingly innocent frayed toaster cord was later found to be the culprit. This simple household device found in practically every home in the universe turned into a deadly weapon. Not a lot has been written about the risk of death from electric shock. The media tends to focus on potential fire dangers in homes, the risk of poisoning, and ways to baby proof a house, but little is said about how to prevent electric shock.
The best way to reduce the risk of death from electric shock at home is to install a RCD or residual current device. It can be easily fitted in your household fuse box. By doing so you dramatically reduce the risk of injury by electric shock. If there is faulty or wet wiring or any electric current passes through a person, the RCD or safety switch cuts off the power within a fraction of a second.
In addition to installing a RCD here are some other ways you can prevent electric hazards in your home:
· NEVER repair frayed and damaged cords with tape. Throw out the damaged cords and get new ones.
· Always turn off an appliance before you unplug it and when you do unplug an appliance hold the plug, not the cord.
· Make sure the cords to outdoor appliances do not come into contact with pools or puddles of water.
· Always wear rubber sole shoes when using electricity in wet areas.
· NEVER touch electrical appliances, cords or switches with wet hands.
· Never fold or crumple an electric blanket. Also, you should never let an electric blanket get wet—which means you shouldn’t be putting it in the washing machine.
· Unless you are a professional, leave electrical repairs to a licensed electrical worker. That goes for any repairs to switches, power points or light fittings.
· If you have children ALWAYS use plug-in covers to prevent youngsters from sticking things into power points. Plastic plug covers are cheap and effective.
· Unplug electrical appliances after use and put them where children can’t reach them.
· REMEMBER: You can tell a person about potential electrical hazards until you are blue in the face, but unless they are willing to take the necessary steps to reduce or eliminate risks you might have to take on the responsibility yourself. Don’t be lulled into thinking that tragedies involving electric shock only happen to OTHER people… sadly, that is simply not the case.