Electrical emergencies must be dealt with immediately. A household electricity supply has more than enough power to kill a person, with electric shocks in the home killing dozens of Brits every year and 28 in 2010 alone. The mains electricity supply in the UK runs at 230 volts, but just 50 volts is enough to lead to heart failure, breathing difficulty and death.
Electric shocks are not the only danger electrical home emergencies pose – dangerous wiring can lead to fires, with 46 of the 224 fatal domestic fires seen in the UK over 2011 to 2012 triggered by the electricity supply. Furthermore, the average year also sees around 350, 000 people seriously injured as a result of household electrical accidents.
Many fatal house fires are caused by malfunctioning electrical appliances. In 2011 to 2012, cooking appliances were cited as factors in ten fatal house fires, electricity supply items such as cabling, plugs and wiring were cited in another ten, and lighting cited in one. While washing machines and dishwashers did not cause any deadly house fires over the year, this was more due to good fortune than the inherent safety of these products, with tumble dryers and washing machines leading to 1, 083 house fires over the year and dishwashers leading to 475.
These figures illustrate that home emergency cover – which covers plumbing, drainage, gas and security as well as providing electrical supply cover – could not only save people a fortune, but could also save their lives. Appliance cover will also ensure that people will not find themselves knowingly using a broken or dangerous domestic appliance, reducing the likelihood of an electrical emergency.
The Electrical Safety Council says that 89% of all electrical fires occur due to electrical products, with the majority of these occurring due to misuse of these products. This shows that not only will home emergency cover and appliance cover help people avoid house fires, but that guidance and support is also essential.
Home emergency cover: how you can avoid electrical emergencies
- Only used qualified tradesmen for domestic electrical work
- Know where the main electrical switch, fuses and circuit breakers are in your fuse box
- Fit Residual Current Devices (RCDs) when installing a new electrical socket
- Renew your electrics if they are old
- Get a registered electrician to check your electrics every decade
- Don’t use any plugs that show signs of damage, including burn marks or cracks
- Unplug appliances when performing any maintenance on them
- Keep electrical appliances far away from water or combustible materials
- Don’t drill holes in walls without checking that it is safe to do so
- Don’t overload sockets
- Dry your hands before using electrics, including light switches
- Keep an eye on wires when using electrical items in the garden
- Use sockets with RCDs when working outside
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