1. Inspect all the electrical devices and equipment

  • Before winter begins, test all your electrical devices and equipment.

  • Look out for broken ties, pinched wire insulation and frayed cables and cords.

  • Overheated, cracked or otherwise compromised wiring can also be dangerous.

  • Inspect everything from smoke detectors and space heaters, to lighting and powerpoints, and other fixtures in your home thoroughly.

  • Remove the appliance or have the device inspected and fixed at any sign of damage.

It’s best to hire a professional electrician for home or office electrical inspections and repairs. They should verify if the electrical equipment complies with the applicable Australian standards. They will test the safety switches on your property as well.

2. Light and Heater Location

  • Refresh your awareness about safety by using plug-in light and heaters.

  • Clean and maintain heaters to avoid the build-up of dust or debris.

  • Place space heaters in open spaces and not in enclosed areas like behind cabinets, under the study table etc.

  • Placing heaters in an enclosed space could result in overheating and fires.

  • Never leave a powered-on heater unattended.

  • Keep all light bulbs at a safe distance from flammable materials, including bedding, plastics, upholstery, and drapes.

  • Before replacing light bulbs, first, switch off the light and then remove it from the socket.

  • Use bulbs of the right wattage to avoid any overheating.

3. Electric Beds & Blankets

  • If you have electric beds and/or blankets in your home, check them before use. Make sure no wires are poking out and that there is no distortion or damage of any kind.

  • Make sure to turn electric beds & blankets off when not in use.

  • Keep heavy items off these features to avoid any accidental damage.

4. Electrical System & Water Safety

  • Ideally, all outlets in bathrooms & kitchens should be installed at a safe distance from showers and sinks. If they aren’t, it’s a good idea to get outlet plug covers. This will help to prevent any accidental contact and an electric shock.

  • Never handle electrical appliances such as hair dryers with wet hands.

  • Teach your kids about drying their hands thoroughly before using any appliances.

  • Remind them to stay away from taps, baths and sinks when handling appliances.

5. Extension cords and other electrical cords

  • Plug office peripherals and devices or equipment directly into sockets whenever possible.

  • If you must use an extension cord, make sure they are in fixed places, with cord organisers as it will help prevent tripping.

  • Pushing them under carpets might not correctly eliminate the risk of tripping.

  • If you are running extension cords along the floors, always use floor cord protectors.

  • Keep all the cords away from any hot surface like a heater.

  • Do not cover them with items such as blankets where possible; covering cords can result in overheating.

  • Install socket covers on all unused sockets.

  • Do not plug in too many appliances into a single extension cord as that will cause an overload.

  • While powering appliances in your garden or yard, use outdoor-grade, waterproof extension cords that are meant for heavy-duty use.

Some Other Things to Focus On

  • Take measures to keep toddlers, babies and young children away from the potential hazard areas.

  • Use socket plug covers and keep cords and wiring out of their reach. Make sure they do not go near any appliances that are running, such as heaters.

  • As you get ready for wintertime, check all your summer appliances for indications of damage.

  • This is the right time to inspect air conditioners, air humidifiers and fans, etc. for wire damage before you store them away.

  • Check each appliance in your house carefully, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the empty spaces around them; adjust their position accordingly. This applies to appliances and devices such as refrigerators and freezers, as well as computers and TVs.

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