Whether it's an old appliance with frayed wiring, removing that piece of fruit toast from the toaster with a metal knife, or overloading a plug with several adaptors, it isn't safe. We've got some handy tips to help make sure you're safe at home.

Do follow these safe practices

  • Use a power board with a built-in surge protector  
  • If an electrical appliance has been waterlogged or submersed in any liquid, throw it away immediately 
  • Check your power board regularly for wear and tear. If the power board is damaged, or the connections are loose, stop using it and replace it 
  • Ensure all power leads are tucked out of the way or secured to help prevent trip and fall hazards. This is especially important if children are running around the home as they can easily catch their feet on loose power cords 
  • Only use light bulbs with the wattage displayed on the appliance. If there is no indication on the product, use a 60-watt bulb or less  
  • Check your electric blanket for damage before using it and look for any kinks, worn or exposed wires, or scorch marks. A good tip is to check it each time you change your sheets 

Don't make these common mistakes!

  • Don't overload your power points by piggybacking adaptors, or by plugging in multiple appliances with a high electrical current rating like kettles, irons, and heaters  
  • Never use an ageing or faulty appliance, including ones with a frayed cord, a cracked or broken plug, or has given someone any kind of shock  
  • Never use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket at the same time 
  • Never use a metal object to remove anything from a toaster 
  • Never pull on the electrical cord to remove it from the wall. Always pull at the plug 
  • Do not attempt to repair faulty electrical appliances yourself – only qualified repair technicians or a licensed electrician can repair appliances  
  • Do not touch or attempt to repair a loose, cracked, or broken power point switch – cover it immediately and arrange for a licenced electrician to replace it 

Warning signs

  • If you experience any of these warning signs, call your landlord or a licensed electrician immediately: 
    • You feel a tingling sensation when you touch a plug or light switch
    • An appliance gives off a faint rubbery or burning smell
    • Your outlet plates are warm to the touch or discoloured
    • An outlet sparking
    • Your lights dim or flicker
    • Repeated tripping of your circuit breaker or blowing fuses. Overloading your electrical circuits and tripping the circuit breaker or blowing a fuse can happen occasionally, but it’s not normal for it to happen repeatedly 

And finally...

  • Treat all electrical equipment as live at all times!