select
|

Don’t let electricity slip your mind

Electrically-powered lights, appliances, TVs and other technology are so commonplace now that most people don’t even think about electricity much, except perhaps during a power failure or when the monthly municipal bill arrives.

So it is no surprise really that most homeowners are unaware of potential electrical hazards around their houses, or of the personal and financial losses they can cause.

According to Eskom, most of the hundreds of people who die or suffer serious injury from electric shock every year in SA do so as a result of illegal activities such as cable theft, unlawful connections and vandalism. However, many also die because of negligence or carelessness around electrical wiring, plugs and appliances.

Meanwhile, according to the Fire Protection Association (www.fpasa.co.za) about half of the 10 000 house fires that occur in SA each year are caused by an electrical short. These fires, including the terrible infernos that rage through informal settlements, result in at least 300 to 400 more deaths a year, and in literally thousands of people having to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

Consequently, homeowners do need to be more alert to the following warning signs that all is not well with their electrical system, so that they can switch off the mains as soon as possible and call in a qualified electrician to rectify the problem.

  • Receiving a shock from any appliance, such as a toaster, stove or washing machine.
  • The smell of burning metal or plastic which may indicate a loose or broken connection, a malfunctioning switch or light fixture, overheating components, arcing or sparking inside the walls or damaged wire.
  • Flickering or dimming lights, which could also indicate a loose connection, overloaded circuits, improper wiring, or arcing and sparking inside the walls.
  • Hot, discoloured switch plates, cords or plugs, which indicate an overload or product malfunction.
  • Overloaded wall outlets. Too many appliances plugged into a single outlet could indicate that your home does not have enough electrical outlets – or capacity – to need your current needs.
  • A wavering picture on the TV or computer screen when a large appliance such as the stove is turned on. This could mean you have too many appliances plugged into one circuit, or that your home needs additional electrical capacity.

Even better, responsible homeowners will take precautions to avoid electrical problems from occurring in the first place, beginning by having the electrical system properly inspected. The International Electrical Safety Foundation recommends an inspection for any house more than 40 years old and for any house more than 10 years old that has had any major renovation or major appliance added. It also says all homes should be inspected at the time of resale, as is compulsory in SA.

In addition, you should never:
  • Tamper with appliances while they’re plugged in, sticking a knife into the toaster being the classic example.
  • Touch any electrical appliance – such as a hairdryer or shaver – if you’re wet.
  • Keep using any appliance – such as a kettle or a heater – that causes the power to "trip".
  • Use power tools for anything other than their original purpose, or without wearing shoes.
  • Have bare feet while using an electric lawnmower.
  • Use electrical cords or extensions with exposed wires.
  • Try to move a fallen outdoor power cable – rather stay well clear and call in an expert as soon as possible.



  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK