While electrical cables (AKA extension leads and multi-boards) used in the home or workplace are a convenient solution to enabling power for a range of portable tools or appliances when damaged or frayed, they can also be an electrical shock hazard & are one of the leading causes of fires here in New Zealand.
There are many ways you can reduce these electrical risks or hazards around the home or in the workplace. So to keep you, your family or even your employees safer this summer, here’s a range of electrical cable safety & protection tips from our experts at Comply Guy.
Working Safely With Or Near Electrical Power Cables
Did you know that in homes or businesses the voltage of electricity and the available electrical current has enough power to cause death by electrocution? Even plugged in lamps when changing a light bulb can be hazardous if coming into contact with the live or hot part of the socket.
Most domestic leads or cables and multi-boards today are built to a minimum standard leaving little room for abuse. However, at Comply Guy we find that extension leads, cords, and multi-boards (by their nature) are often placed in exposed positions, are daisy-chained (interconnected together) walked on, kicked, moved, dragged around the workplace or get crushed under desks, chairs, tables, and work equipment.
Surprisingly the Comply Guy staff have even seen an electrical cable used as a tow rope!
Damaged, Split or Frayed Leads And Cables
Do you have any worn or frayed electrical leads or cables? If so, they should never be used. So what exactly is or isn’t a “worn or frayed” cable or cord?
If there are superficial nicks or abrasions that only slightly affect the outer jacket of an electrical cord, you should be okay. However, any damage or wear that is deeper than that, regardless of exposed the wires inside, can cause the cable to bend more at that point and damage in the internal wires. A cable such as this should be replaced.
Moreover, wherever possible, avoid running electrical leads across floors.
If power cables or leads are a necessity on the floor, a cable protector or cable ramp (AKA cable organiser) is advised to avoid both creating a trip hazard & damaging the cable.
Comply Guy also recommend not running leads under carpets, duct taped to or loose on the floor. Cables or power cords that run across floors quickly become damaged and are extremely dangerous, particularly since the damage is concealed by the carpet or duct tape. Instead, have a registered electrician to install additional power points wherever necessary and have any split, frayed or damaged leads, power or electrical cables, tested by Comply Guy – you can contact us here
And finally, if you have any extension cord that feels like it is overheating rather than just comfortably warm get it checked.
Other Problems Or Issues With Split Leads, Power or Electrical Cables
If damaged cables are not tested for safety, a number of other problems can occur including
• The exposed wires can be touched directly causing electrocution.
• The wires can touch a conductive object (such as the metal frame of a desk) which will liven up the frame and electrocute anyone touching it.
• Combustion, causing a fire.
• Creating a short that destroys your valuable equipment.
• Damaging the earth. Without an effective earth, a faulty earthed appliance becomes dangerous.
Final Thoughts On Electrical Hazards & Cable Safety
From our founding more than 15 years ago, our focus has always been on electrical safety and keeping you safe from the risk of non-compliance. Although electrical cables & cords provide convenience & help make everyday living easy – without proper maintenance, they can be deadly. Talk to us today – on 0800 669 999. We have compliance inspectors nationwide & available near you.