In preventing electrical accidents, a little care and vigilance goes a long way to help you avoid a good deal of damage, and ensure your family’s safety. Here are a few reminders to keep in mind at home:
- When not in use, unplug all small appliances.
- Use the correct fuse size. 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 from 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.
- 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. 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 ma-chines, 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.
- De-energize the circuit using the switch or circuit breaker, or by cutting the line using an insulated cutter.
- Safely remove the victim from contact with the energy source by using a dry wood stick, plastic rope, leather belt, blanket or any other non-conductive materials.
Call for help
Seek the help of others in administering first aid. You may also seek assistance in calling for professional medical help and/or arranging transfer facilities.
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Check the victim’s ABC:
A – Airway: Clear and open the airway using the head tilt – chin lift maneuver
B – Breathing: Check and restore breathing via rescue breathing
C- Circulation: Check and restore circulation via external chest compression
If the victim has a pulse but is not breathing, perform mouth to mouth resuscitation as long as necessary.
If pulse and breathing are absent, give external chest compressions (CPR).
If pulse and breathing are present, stop CPR and stabilize the victim.
- Administer first aid for shock:
Keep the victim lying down, warm and comfortable to maintain body heat until medical assistance arrives. Do not move the victim unless absolutely necessary. Do not be in a hurry to transport the victim, as more harm may be done by mishandling, jarring and shaking the victim.
Don’t give fluid (drinks) to the victim unless necessary.
Keep checking the victim until medical help is obtained.