ELECTRICAL SAFETY CHECKLIST
Keep your home and family safe. Do an electrical safety check in and around your home twice a year.
At the beginning of summer and winter, check each room in your home for electrical safety. Work through the lists below. Invest 10 - 20 minutes of your time now, it may save a life or prevent an accident in the future.
Sockets and Switches
- Are all sockets, switches and multiboxes working properly with no damaged or broken plugs, sockets, light switches or light fittings?
- Are all sockets and switches cool to the touch?
- Do all electric plugs fit snugly into the sockets?
- Are all multi-boxes placed up high, out of the reach of children?
- Have you installed safety devices such as RCDs, shuttered sockets and recessed outlets?
- Have you limited the number of appliances plugged into one outlet, so as not to draw too heavy a load on the circuit?
- Do you have only one heater per outlet?
- Are all electric cords in good condition, with no cracking or fraying in the outer cover or any internal wires exposed?
- Are all electric cords clear of rugs and furniture?
- Are all extension cords used for temporary purposes only?
- If not, ask an electrician to install a socket-outlet where needed.
- Are all cords out of the way so they canít be tripped over, damaged by furniture, or caught in any way?
- Do you have the correct bulbs in your light fittings and lamps?
Portable Electric Heaters
- Do you follow the "heater metre rule" with all heaters at least one metre away from things that can burn? Are all heaters in good working condition with no broken parts, funny noises or smells? Have you recently maintained and cleaned your heater?
- Are all electric blankets in good condition with no scorch marks, kinks, exposed or damaged wiring?
- Are your electric blankets stored flat or rolled in corrugated cardboard when not in use?
- Have you had your electric blanket tested recently? Donít forget that HBPCT subsidises electric blanket testing in Hawkeís Bay Ė check out their website: http://www.unison.co.nz/?t=141
- How old are your electric blankets?
(It is recommended that you replace your electric blanket after 2 or 3 years of use).
Each winter, before using your electric blanket, check for damage or wear and check again each time you change the sheets. Inspect the cord, control switch and plug for any damage and look for any kinks, worn or exposed wires, scorch marks, or breaks in the heating element.
To check, turn the blanket on for 15 minutes at the highest setting (donít leave the room) and then turn it off. Run your hand over the blanket and feel for hot spots. A hot spot indicates that the heating coil has been kinked or damaged, which could lead to fire or electric shock so the blanket should be replaced with a new one.
Use an electric blanket only to warm the bed. To avoid overheating, switch it off before you get in. Overheating can be life threatening, especially for the very young, ill, or elderly.
Creasing can damage the heating elements, so when fitting the blanket, ensure it is flat on the bed. Secure the blanket firmly, using the attached ties. Pins or sharp objects should not be used. Keep the cord and control switch clear of the bed so they donít get damaged.
Never leave an electric blanket unattended for long periods of time when it is switched on.
Some people are more sensitive to electricity than others and can feel a sensation from an electric blanket, even with the electric blanket controller in the off position. Any such sensation from an electric blanket or any other electrical appliance should be checked out by an electrician or other competent person, prior to further use. Should the blanket be found to be safe by the electrician or other competent person, any sensation felt from the blanket can be stopped by switching the blanket off at the wall socket-outlet or by removing the plug from the socket-outlet.
- Do you regularly check and clean the lint from your clothes-dryer filter?
- Do you consistently ensure that the stove-top is kept clear of things that could burn - such as paper towels and plastic cords - keeping them at least one metre away from the elements?
- Are all small appliances around your home in good condition with no exposed wiring, unusual noises or smells?
- Do all your small appliances operate correctly?
- Are all small appliances unplugged when not in use?
- Are all cords to electric appliances stored out of the way so that a child cannot pull them down onto him or herself?
Residual Current Devices
- Do you have RCDs installed in the damp areas of your home where you have electrical outlets - such as the bathroom and laundry?
- Do you test your RCDs regularly, and are they working correctly?
- Do you use an RCD or an isolating transformer with all electrical equipment outside?
Fuses and Circuit Breakers
- Can you change a fuse correctly?
- Are all fuse wires the correct size for the circuits on your switchboard?
- Is it a rare occurrence for a fuse to blow in your home?
- Further information is available on Fuses and Circuit Breakers.
- Are all power lines well clear of buildings, structures and trees?
- Are all outside electrical outlets protected by an RCD or an isolating transformer?
For more information about electrical safety -
CALL UNISON FIRST | 0800 2 UNISON | 0800 286 476
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