Health is not always just about the absence of sickness and disease; it is also about staying safe and avoiding harm. Most electricians have experienced times when they’ve been called to a home where the wiring was not in a safe condition through age or damage by pests such as rodents. Wiring that is in the ceiling cavity is exposed to very high temperatures that help to degrade the covering. That makes it dangerous to your health as it can short out and start a fire.
The same thing can happen when mice or rats chew the wires, especially if they make a nest in the ceiling with bits of paper, dried grass or scraps of cloth, all of which can catch fire quickly from a spark. If you live in an older home, it would be wise to have the electric wires in the ceiling checked out. If they need replacing it is an almost sure bet that the wires in the walls will also be in a bad condition. These too, should be replaced.
Storms and wind damage can also cause the wiring in your home to break or be degraded in some way, making in unsafe, especially if a tree has fallen on the roof or if tiles have blown off. Sometimes even having a nearby tree struck by lightning causes a surge in the power that can mean damage to the wiring.
It’s important to have a check done by a qualified electrician and not to do it yourself. Most people are not experienced and may not recognise a problem if they saw it. An electrician knows exactly what to look for and how to fix it temporarily until he has time to return and do the longer job of a permanent fix.
Many people take electricity for granted because they grew up with it and it is so easy and clean to use. But that doesn’t mean it is safe when things go wrong. This can happen more easily than you may think. Here are some more tips on using power safely.
- Never do electrical work such as installing power points or wiring yourself
- Keep water away from electrical components
- Make sure all cords are in good condition and replace those that are frayed or cracked
- Keep wiring and cords away from things like heaters or other sources of heat
- Have electric blankets checked annually and don’t leave them plugged in or switched on over the summer months. Roll them rather than folding for storage and don’t allow heavy weights to sit on them
- Don’t overload power points with too many double adaptors
- Plug power point holes so toddlers can’t poke things into them.