As they say in the hugely popular Game of Thrones, ‘winter is coming’ and as the colder weather sets in we start to bring out all our heaters and electric blankets. As we use more electrical appliances, cords and multi-boards in winter we run a higher risk that one of those devices or cords, is faulty, frayed or may overload. This is perfect time to go around all the heaters, blankets and appliances you have pulled from the back of the cupboard or garage and check that they are in good working order. If you see anything suspicious, a frayed cord, a bent or scorched cord or connection take it into the team at Comply Guy to have it tested and tagged – safe for use.
The team at Comply Guy are serious about electrical safety and so we’ve put together a few facts or ‘shocking truths’ you can use to check your home or work is compliant, and stay safe and warm this winter.
- Any electrical tool or appliance is only as good as its cord – inspect your wiring and cords regularly
- Make sure extension cords and multi-boards don’t create trip hazards.
- Make sure the extension cord is heavy enough (high gauge) for the intended amps it will carry.
- If a cord or plug becomes hot it may be overloading. Unplug it immediately and call Comply Guy to get it checked.
- When working with power tools use a heavy-duty, grounded, three-pronged cord, a single cord that is long enough to reach from the appliance to the outlet without stretching.
- When using appliances outdoors, use a RCD (Residual Current Device) for additional protection.
- Never run an electrical cord through a doorway, across a sharp edge, or under carpet or a rug. Doors closing, dragging cords over a sharp edge and people walking over cords can damage the insulation on the cord and increase the risk of fire or electric shock.
- A special ‘angle extension cord’ should be used in locations where furniture or beds may be pushed against an extension cord where it joins the plug.
- NEVER force a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged outlet or multi-board, and insert plugs fully so that no part of the prongs is exposed.
- Extension cords should be stored in a dry environment, at temperatures above freezing as outdoor conditions can cause them to deteriorate over time. Also, only use cords outdoors that are specifically marked for outdoor use, utilising them only in dry locations.
- ALWAYS unplug extension cords and multi-boards when not in use.
- NEVER TUG BY THE PLUG – or unplug devices by pulling on the cord.
- Finally, when attempting to do electrical work, i.e. changing a light bulb, ensure that all sources of electricity to the appliance are shut off and preferably unplugged or locked out.
Many dangerous, hidden faults can only be discovered by specific electrical inspections and tests. There is no way to know that an electrical appliance is safe without electrical testing. This is why it is imperative to test and tag plug-in appliances (e.g. computers, heaters, leads, fans, power tools, etc.) so they comply with the latest OSH regulations. Protect your staff and family from electric shock or fire and give yourself peace of mind.