There are a number of electrical safety hazards present in every home and workplace. Our dependence on electricity has contributed to an ever-increasing number of fatalities. The most common victims of electric hazards are children who are not carefully supervised. Electricians who work with electricity all day are also more prone to injuries, some of which are fatal. Recognizing the most dangerous electrical safety hazards can help people to safeguard their lives.
1. Handling Electric Appliances with Wet Hands
Electricity and water form a fatal combination. A person who touches an electric socket or appliance with wet hands could be in trouble. The danger is even greater with sweat because salty moisture is an even better conductor of electricity.
2. Electric Outlets Close to Sources of Water
Electric outlets in bathrooms and kitchens must be a safe distance away from the sink or shower. Ideally, all such receptacles and outdoor sockets must be GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting) type, so that the danger of electric shocks and fires is reduced.
3. Uncovered Electric Sockets around Toddlers and Babies
Young children are naturally curious. Electric outlets at knee height must be protected with plastic closures that fit snugly and cannot be removed easily. A little child who pokes a finger or other item into a socket could be fatally injured in the event of an electric shock.
4. Defective or Torn Electric Wires
Corroded, worn, or torn electric wires can lead to electric accidents. Inspect all your wiring and cords regularly to ensure that they are in good condition.
5. Working on Electric Equipment with the Power On
Whenever you attempt to do electric work, ensure that all sources of electricity to the appliance are shut off. Test to ensure the power has been turned off before beginning any type of electrical work.
6. Pouring Water on an Electric Fire
A popular misconception is that water can control any fire. In the case of electric fires, water acts as a fuel that worsens the situation. You must use a fire extinguisher that is recommended for use on electric fires. In the kitchen, baking soda can also snuff out flames on the stove or in the oven.
7. Incorrect Wiring
The electrical wiring for any building is a crucial component. Unless you are a qualified electrician, avoid performing such tasks. Employ the services of a professional who can do the job safely and correctly.
8. Overheating Bulbs and Lights
Sources of light must be kept away from flammable materials such as upholstery, drapes, and beds. If the two come in prolonged contact, the chances of an electric fire are high.
9. Misused Extension Cords
Misuse of extension cords is a major reason for electric shocks and fires. Never use extension cords as a permanent substitute for additional sockets. Never overload extension cords and discard them if they have worn out wires. Similarly, avoid overloading electric circuits by operating too many appliances all at once.
10. Covered Cords and Wires
Electric wires and cords radiate heat, which must be dissipated safely. This is why it is important to avoid covering wires under rugs or furniture, as they could overheat and start an electric fire.