In preventing electrical accidents, a little care and vigilance goes a long way to help you avoid a good deal of damage. Here are a few reminders to keep in mind at home.
- When not in use, unplug all small appliances.
- Use the correct size of fuse. Over or under-sized fuses could start a fire.
- Never replace a busted fuse with other materials. Wires and other conductors used in place of the fuses may not be able to isolate the electric circuit in case of a short circuit.
- Avoid octopus connections. Overloading might occur if multiple cords are connected to outlets designed only for one or two plugs.
- Secure loose electrical cords. Family members might trip over wires that are hanging loose along pathways.
- If light switches or outlets feel warm when turned on or in use, turn them off. Call a qualified electrician to immediately check the wiring.
- If plugs seem to fit loosely in a wall outlet, check the plugs or the outlet. A loose or poor electrical connection between plug and the outlet may cause overheating.
- Pull the plug, not the wire. Pulling the wire itself might make the insulation and wires snap or twist.
- Use outlet covers and outlet plates to help prevent electrocution. These can help prevent electric shock and possible electrocution
- Never try to repair electrical products yourself unless you are a qualified electrician.
Living Room Safety
- Keep TV sets away from windows. Rain that enters the TV housing may damage the set and cause electric shock. Don’t put vases or drinking glasses on top of TV sets as water may spill into the TV set.
- Keep small metal objects away from TV sets. Paper clips, nails and other small metal objects are conductors of electricity. They will cause electric shock.
- If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or causes an electric shock, unplug it and have it replaced immediately.
- Don’t run electrical cords under rugs, carpets or furniture. Walking on cords can break wiring and possibly cause a fire.
- Check all entertainment and computer equipment. Make sure all equipment and electrical appliances are in good condition and working properly. Look for cracks in or damage to wiring, plugs and connectors.
- Don’t leave lighted candles unattended.
- Keep Christmas trees away from sources of heat.
- Place wiring for outdoor lighting where animals and pets cannot chew on them.
- Keep combustible materials away from Christmas bulbs or heating sources.
- Don’t use lighting sets with frayed or exposed wiring.
- Use light bulbs of specified wattage for your lamp or lighting fixture. A bulb of improper wattage or rating or of the wrong type may lead to overloading and cause fire.
- Make sure light bulbs are screwed in securely. Loose bulbs may overheat.
- Don’t place any electrical appliances near water, like in your sink or bathtub. Appliances that are used near water should be unplugged when not in use.
- Keep combustible materials away from lamps and other sources of heat. Clothing, curtains, newspapers, etc. can burn or catch fire easily.
- Unplug the toaster or toaster oven before removing any stuck food.
- Use the proper type of plug for the outlet. If your appliances have three prong plugs and your kitchen has only two-conductor outlets, do not cut off the ground prong (the third/bottom prong) from the plugs; instead, convert your outlet into a 3-wire outlet especially for appliances with motors like refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and the like. Consult a qualified electrician.
- Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit. This could lead to fire or shock. Plugs should fit securely in outlets.
- Circuit breakers and fuses should be of the correct size for the circuits. If you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used.
POWER SAVING TIPS
When it comes to electricity, the little things you do matter. Save money by using electricity efficiently. With these easy, yet useful tips that allow you to lower your consumption and in turn, lower your electric bill.
- Use natural light whenever possible.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Use compact fluorescent lights (CFL) instead of incandescent bulbs. A 16-watt CFL produces the same light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb at a quarter of the energy cost.
- Clean bulbs regularly. Dirt lessens illumination by as much as 50%. Use low wattage light bulbs in areas that do not need strong lighting such as hallways, foyers and doorways.
- Use lamps that provide direct lighting over desks, beds and other work areas. Using them saves energy instead of the higher wattage lighting used to illuminate the whole room.
- Give it room to breathe. Place refrigerators at least 4 inches away from the wall so as not to overwork the motor.
- Clean condenser coils. The coils at the back remove heat.
- Clean it twice a year using a vacuum cleaner or broom.
- Check door gaskets. Make sure refrigerator doors are sealed tightly to prevent cold air from escaping.
- Defrost regularly. Defrost before frost builds up to 1/4 inch to keep refrigerator running efficiently.
- When buying new refrigerators, be sure to purchase energy efficient models.
- Look for units with the highest Energy Efficient Factor (EEF). It is more efficient and costs less to operate.
- Plan ahead. Prepare all ingredients before cooking to avoid frequent switching of electric stove.
- Thaw frozen food thoroughly before cooking. Match pots and pans to stove element. Avoid using a big burner for a small pan to lessen heat transfer loss.
- Cover pots and pans. Cover pots with lids to prevent heat from escaping.
- Use flat-bottomed pots and pans when using electric stove. They provide faster heat transfer.
- Switch off. Turn off the electric stove during the last minutes of cooking. The remaining heat will make the food simmer.