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Make your home electrically safe

Posted by Royal Sundaram on 18 May 2011

Our lifestyle is heavily dependent on electricity and one can’t imagine life without it. However, electricity can be dangerous, if we don’t “play by the rules”. It may cause fire accidents or be hazardous to us. In fact, the current that passes through a bulb in a minute, can be fatal to us.

Buy quality appliances – Cheap electrical appliances may prove costly in the long run. When you scout to buy a new appliance, look for ISI Mark (ISI=Indian Standards Institution), be it for your sleek wet grinder or washing machine! Stick to standard mobiles and chargers. Follow the product instruction manual carefully. If a large plug is recommended to run the equipment, get it installed to avoid any damages to the wiring and other devices in your home.

Don’t keep appliances plugged on to a plug point for a long time, especially when you don’t use it regularly.

Avoid extension cords – A wire is a wire…whether it’s inside the wall or outside….right? Wrong! Extension cords are strictly for temporary usage and are not designed to take heavy load. So, just dial your electrician’s number and ask him to wire your home, according to the need. Also, don’t put extension cord under the carpet, as it can short circuit.

Plug point and switch care – Switches that make a noise or get heated could indicate short circuit or loose contact. Get it checked/changed if you notice these problems. Also, look for discolouration of plug points and switches. The same goes for all appliances. If you hear any noise or detect smoke, get it checked with a technician. Don’t overload the plug point with extensions. The maximum load a circuit can take is 800 watts.

Always buy standard switches and plug points, which have an ISI mark. Also, switch boards should be at a height of at least 5 feet.

Don’t mix electricity and water – Everyone knows that electricity and water together can be disastrous, but often ignore it. Don’t operate mixies and grinders on a wet platform. Don’t operate switch with wet fingers, as it can corrode it over a period of time and you may get a shock.

Baby proof/Pet proof home – Babies and pets really don’t know the difference between an electrical cord and chew-toy. So ensure that switches and wires are out of reach of kids and pets and thus don’t run on the floor.

Ensure ground wire is intact – Often ignored but ground wire is very important for a home’s electrical safety. It provides a safe exit for fault current, keeping you and your appliances safe from unexpected shocks. Ground wire’s thickness should be 2 mm2 for Copper wires and 4mm2 for Aluminum wires.

Home wiring – If you are looking to buy a home, ensure that all wiring is done as per ISI specifications. You can get a handbook of Indian electricity acts and rules over the net.

If you live in an old home, get the wiring inspected by a qualified electrician. Over time, wires often corrode and may cause fire, so they might need a little repair and changing.

Wiring takes the entire electrical load, thus buy wires of right gauge made by a standard company, which has an ISI mark.

So, evaluate the electrical safety of your home and make changes accordingly. Paying attention to safety is accident averted! You can read more on home safety tips here and here .

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