Overlooking basic electrical safety measures at home can lead to accidents, injuries and fires. Safeguard your family from electrical hazards with these tips.
All homes in Singapore must have a residual current circuit breaker (RCCB) installed. It is a safety device that helps prevent electric shock by shutting off electric supply immediately upon detection of a leakage in a circuit. Once a month, check that your RCCB is operating properly, by pressing the test button.
Don’t overload power points
This may lead to overheating and a fire. While a multiplug adapter can be handy when there are not enough sockets, avoid using one for extended periods of time. Furthermore, do not treat extension cords like dedicated electrical outlets. Be conscious of the maximum wattage capacity of your extension cord, and make sure you don’t exceed it by plugging in too many appliances or devices. Switch it off and remove it from the socket when not in use. Replace cracked or broken power points and extension cords immediately.
Don’t rejoin wires
It’s dangerous to join cut or frayed electrical cords with insulation tape. You risk harm when handling them, and, should the tape peel off after a while, your cords will be left exposed. Let a licensed electrician handle damaged cords.
Run wires properly
Wires and cords need ventilation to release heat build-up, so never run them under a rug or carpet, or rest furniture on them. Friction may cause damage and overheat the wires, which could be a fire risk. Running wires around sharp edges may also lead to cut insulation and exposed live wires.
Look for the Safety mark
It may be tempting to pick up that new gadget on sale overseas, or a cheap AC adaptor from a popular online marketplace. But for your protection, always check for the Safety mark on appliances and devices, particularly on everyday items such as microwave ovens, rice cookers, coffeemakers, kettles and irons. They are listed as controlled goods required to carry the Safety mark under the Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Registration Scheme. For more information, visit Spring Singapore at www.spring.gov.sg/safety.
Don’t tug at a cord to unplug a device – pull the plug out of the socket, instead. Pulling the cord puts a lot of strain on the plug and the socket, which can cause the wires to detach from the connecting pins and break the plug.