Where do hazards lurk?
Be careful with the cords of electric lawnmowers and other power tools, always keeping the cord behind your direction of movement. Never operate electrical equipment in the rain. All outdoor power outlets around your home must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
Faulty or broken outlets present a significant risk of electric shock. Have your electrician replace any broken or loose outlets immediately. Socket outlets must be equipped with automatic shutters, secured by screws in the flush box and have high shock resistance. All outlets should be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
Hot water systems, washing machines, and ovens all have large sheet metal surfaces. If there are any internal defects, the slightest touch of their exterior surface could be hazardous or even deadly. Ensure all large appliances (e.g. hot water system) are earthed via the green-yellow wire.
Turning off the light switch does not make it safe to change a lightbulb. Always unplug the device from the power outlet, or disconnect it at the switchboard. Wall switches do not provide the necessary safety conditions. All lighting circuits in your home must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
Lighting, alarm clocks and other portable devices can easily be knocked or dropped against hard surfaces. If this happens, the casings may crack, potentially exposing dangerous wiring and other parts. All mobile and other portable devices must bear the ‘Class II’ symbol.
The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home because when your skin is wet it’s extremely sensitive to electric current. Dry hands thoroughly before handling an appliance, and never use one that is damaged. All switches and outlets in a bathroom must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
RCDs: Your ultimate protection from electrocution
• Power outlets
• All devices in bathrooms and wet areas
Check your switchboard for RCDs, which are easy to identify, having:
• A white pushbutton
• A "30mA" marking
If there are RCDs fitted in your switchboard, check if they are working by pushing the ‘Test’ button. The RCD should trip.
If you don’t see any RCDs fitted, you need to upgrade your switchboard with RCDs to ensure the highest level of protection throughout your home.
The most vital RCD installations2 or 3 RCDs in your switchboard prevent the entire home from being blacked-out in case of tripping. Use dedicated RCDs for outdoor circuits as they are more likely to trip during bad weather.
For critical loads like fridges and freezers, a specific RCD will prevent them from being tripped due to hazards on other loads in the home.
Four areas in your home that need your attention
1. SwitchboardYour switchboard protects your home from electrical fires caused by short-circuits and overloads.
For your safety, your switchboard must be:
• Sheltered from water
• Made from high quality materials
• Highly resistant to shocks
There should not be any holes that are large enough to insert a tool or finger. There should also be a closing cover to protect all circuit breakers. Teamed with RCDs, your switchboard can now also protect your family from electrocution.
2. Switches and outletsUse quality switches and outlets as these items are vital for your safety:
• Outlets equipped with automatic shutters to prevent children from inserting fingers or objects into the holes
• All plastic parts must be strong enough to withstand blows
• All lighting and power grids screwed securely to mounting brackets
All switches and outlets in your home must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).
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Replace faulty components:
Replace any outlets, light fittings, extension leads and appliances that are showing any signs of wear and tear, including cracks, sticking or lose switches, and split or crushed electrical leads.
Safety first :
If you do this on your own, always wear protective gloves, use insulated tools, and switch the power off at the switchboard.
3. Lighting devicesLighting devices housed in insulating material must have the ‘Class II’ symbol engraved on them.
Modern lighting, including bare cables, must be supplied by a transformer bearing the ‘Safety Extra Low Voltage’ symbol.
Metal structured chandeliers must be linked to a "protective earth" via the “green-yellow” wire.
All lighting circuits in your home must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD)
4. BathroomsThe bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home. Why? Because when your skin is wet, your body is extremely sensitive to electric current.
Volume 0: No electrical parts at all
Volume 1: within reach from the bath or shower with arms up
• Only 12V isolated fittings (SELV* supply)
Volume 2: maximum reach from the bath or shower
• Transformer isolated sockets (“razor” type)
• Class II insulated lighting and heaters
All switches and outlets in your bathrooms must be protected by a 30mA Residual Current Device (RCD).