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Safety in the home (especially now we are stuck in it)


Today I thought we would talk about staying safe indoors whilst we are all locked down; at least from an electrical perspective.

These days, many of us are now working from home. We have the kids in with us and whilst it’s a familiar environment there is that old saying, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’.

It has always has amazed me how we can be in our work environment and be super safety conscious, with correct personal protective equipment, procedures and rules on how to approach tasks in a safe manner and keeping our equipment in safe working order. Today, more than any other time in working history, occupational health and safety in the workplace is a huge part of how we do our day to day tasks at work.

And then we go home and we turn off that potential hazards radar which is weird in one way as we hopefully get to spend more time at home than at work and some of that home time is when are asleep. This is the time we are least able to defend ourselves against potential threats. We also have our children and grandchildren in our homes as well.

At work its safety, safety, safety! SWMS, JSA, procedures and checklists.

We get home and as it’s our safe place, our refuge we let our guard down.

But we shouldn’t. One third of all accidents occur in the home.

If you had frayed cords, multiple power boards and double adaptors piggy backed into each other in the office or workshop it just wouldn’t fly in this day and age. If your switchboard didn’t have any RCD protection, that is borderline illegal. Every lead has to be tested and tagged 2 to 4 times per year. Fire alarm systems have to be checked regularly at work.

Then we get home and we ignore that 1970’s porcelain fuse switch board with no electric shock protection. We just plug yet another power board into an already overloaded circuit. That cord the cat or puppy chewed still works just fine. Those smoke alarms we pulled the batteries out of because they annoyingly started to chirp are still waiting for a battery.

In the scheme of places we cohabit all of a sudden our home is most likely the most dangerous but we just don’t see it as it is familiar. It is home.

Now we are home all the time and most of us are looking to be stuck inside for a fair while longer. Those 8 hours a day we got to spend in our controlled safe environment has now been shifted to our house.

Has your switchboard been fitted with RCD’s (Residual Current Devices)? These snap off the power if you are exposed to accidental shock if they are feeding that circuit.  This is possibly the best thing you can do protect yourself electrically at home and to be blunt its pure insanity not to get this sorted.

Do you have enough power points in the rooms you are using? Overloading circuits is fire risk.

Are your smoke alarms functional? Most house fires happen when we are asleep. All of our senses are dialled down. The smoke will probably get you before the fire and send you into a longer sleep than you anticipated going on when you went to bed.

I think we all know the importance of smoke alarms.

Halogen down lights; they run stupidly hot, cost a bomb to run and don’t last long and make your rooms that have them installed leak heat. LED lights are cheap to buy and install, use 80% less energy and last 5 times longer. But from a safety point of view do not run hot and are very unlikely to ever become the source of a fire. Something that the halogen lights cannot claim.

DMS Energy can sort all these issues for you with one phone call on 1300 502 599

If you’re not sure if your switchboard is up to scratch or if your wiring is safe and in good condition feel free to give us a call and we can come and check it out.

You can even send in a photo to our DMS Energy Facebook page as we will be running a promotion on home electrical safety awareness during May. So we encourage anyone to post a picture of their switchboard for a rate my board expose

Our team of experts can give you some idea of the state of your switchboards.

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