Keep your home and family safe by completing 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.
Check 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 can’t be tripped over, damaged by furniture, or caught in any way?
- Do you have the correct bulbs in your light fittings and lamps?
Check 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?
Check Electric Blankets
- 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?
- How old are your electric blankets? It’s recommended that you replace your electric blanket after 2 or 3 years of use.
- Have you had your electric blanket tested recently? Don’t forget that HBPCT subsidises electric blanket testing in Hawke’s Bay – find out more here.
Here's a tip on how to test your blanket at home: turn the blanket on for 15 minutes at the highest setting (don’t 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.
- 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?
Check 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?
Check 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?