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Play it safe: 5 unlikely electrical hazards around the home

Ever been told not to put a metal fork or knife into a toaster when it’s plugged in? Seems harmless at the time when all you want to do is dislodge a piece of toast, until of course you find out it could result in an electric shock!

That’s one of the more common electrical hazards you hear about at home. But what about the dangers that aren’t so obvious?

When it comes to electricity and the appliances around your home, you can never be too safe. Here are 5 hazards that often go unnoticed, which you should always have on your radar.

  • Green Domes

    You know those funny looking things you might find out the front of your house (or your neighbour’s) that stick out from the ground? These green pillars are actually pretty important, as they store the electrical wiring that supplies power to your home and street.

    While they may look like an awesome makeshift cricket stump, jumping platform for the kids, a comfy seat, step ladder or a speed bump (yes people frequently reverse or drive into them) – resist the urge.

    Break one of these and you’re opening yourself up to some pretty scary stuff. Exposed wiring can lead to electric shocks. So, if you ever come across a cracked or damaged green dome – no matter where you are, make the safe call to Western Power straight away on 13 13 51.

  • Overhanging tree branches

    Trees on your property are great, and because they are self-sufficient we rarely take notice of them. But, branches that encroach too close to power lines pose a fire risk, can cause power failures or serious accidents.

    To avoid this, keep on top of your maintenance all year round and trim your trees where needed to comply with safety clearance zones. 

  • Sticky switches

    Finding it hard to turn the switches on and off on your power points? It may just be your child’s sticky jam fingers, or it could be a sign of damaged cabling. An experienced sparky will be able to tell you whether the cabling has overheated and needs to be fixed, to avoid a fire risk.

  • Dirty bathroom exhaust fan

    Who really pays attention to their bathroom fan? What if we told you – you should! Over time bathroom fans build up a lot of dust and dirt, and if you don’t clean them regularly they can overheat and possibly start a fire. A quick wipe will ensure this doesn’t happen. 

  • Dodgy party lights

    Outdoor lights are great for celebrations, but whether it’s the quality of the lights or your set up, make sure you use products and fixtures intended for outdoor use. Products not designed to withstand the elements have the potential to start a fire. Oh and keep any flammable materials away from your lighting.

As much as a DIY job might seem like the way to fix any electrical faults at home, it’s best to leave it to the professionals, so always call your local electrician to take a look.

And, if you ever come across any damaged green domes or powerlines – no matter where you are, be sure to make the safe call.