Wired all wrong

Faulty wiring is one of the most common causes of house fires: approximately 8,000 homes catch light each year as a result of defective electrical appliances or installations. The information below should help you to prevent an electrical fire starting in your home. However, should the worst happen, your building and contents insurance can protect you financially from the effects of an electrical fire.

Most of us have an awareness of the importance of fire safety in the home, but whilst you may keep candles away from your curtains and double check that the oven is off before you leave the house, have you considered the state of your electrical wires and appliances? This information should help you to prevent an electrical fire staring in your home.

The majority of us don’t have our appliances tested by a qualified electrician but if we did, many electrical fires could be avoided. When you buy a new electrical product there should be a guarantee on the packaging informing you that it has been evaluated by a nationally recognised laboratory. This will confirm that the product is safe and secure to use.

Once you have an appliance, keep an eye on the condition of the wires themselves. Frayed wires are dangerous, so replace any cords that have become worn or damaged as soon as you spot them. Power tools can also be a source of electrical problems. If your tools short circuit, give off sparks, or small electrical shocks, stop using them and replace them immediately.

Another common cause of electrical shortages is overloaded extension leads. Whilst it can be tempting to overload extension leads, particularly if there is a shortage of plug sockets in your home, this can be extremely dangerous. Only plug in the appliances you need to use at any given time and keep plugs to a minimum on all extension leads.

We all know that water and electricity don’t mix, so when you arrange your electrical appliances, think about the layout of your kitchen. Try to keep kitchen appliances away from wet floors and wet counters and as far from the sink as possible.

A working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. Make sure you check the batteries regularly and change them if necessary. It is also worth practising a home escape plan with your family to ensure that everyone can get out safely in case of a fire. Review this plan from time to time to make sure the whole household remembers it.

If a fire does break out, the damage it can do is quite phenomenal. Even if your valuables aren’t burnt, smoke can be corrosive and blacken anything it touches. Reputable home insurance can protect you financially from this sort of damage. Having minimised the risks and with your insurance protecting you, you can relax knowing that the electrical appliances that make your life easier aren’t making your home unsafe.

Featured article from John Lewis Insurance