Electrical Safety in the Home: How to Keep Your Kids Safe
Electricity can be a dangerous thing. Yes, every home needs power, but when a sudden surge should occur perhaps due to earth leakage, if left unprotected it can have serious consequences. Not only are you in danger of literally frying your computer, but a fire could result and that would be the ultimate danger to guard against.
Whether you use an internet connection for work or for entertainment, consider how much time your family spends online and what that would mean to you financially if one sudden burst of energy was left undetected. Fire would be the worst-case scenario, but the financial losses you could incur would nonetheless be devastating. So how can you protect your family from these sudden surges in electricity? Here are a few affordable ‘fixes’ you might want to consider.
Install an RCD Safety Switch
If your home isn’t fitted with an RCD safety switch, this is probably the first thing you should invest in. They are not all that expensive, and they can cut the electricity to your home within milliseconds. The typical way in which they work is to cut all power to the home the very moment a surge of electricity is detected. This means all the electricity to your home will be cut and if you need to communicate with the outside world during this time, make sure your laptop and/or mobile phone is charged at all times.
Typically, an RCD switch detects what is referred to as “earth leakage.” This is most often the result of faulty wiring or some form of accident with your electronics or appliances. The moment the RCD detects a surge due to this earth leakage, power is cut, as noted above, to prevent injury or damage due to electrical shock. Not only do they reduce the result of injury to people, but RCDs also help to prevent home fires.
It is important to understand that the RCD Safety Switch goes beyond what circuit breakers can do. Those only protect the home from short circuiting, but they do NOT protect against electrocution. Australian law requires RCDs to be fitted to all new build homes.
Childproof Electrical Outlets in the Home
Consider for a moment a home that relies heavily on a network connection. Many Australians are now working from home-based businesses and a network connection is vital to their financial income. Even though you may believe you have childproofed your home, there may be that one electrical outlet which you aren’t using at the moment and so are not worried about danger.
Remember, little children learn by touching and they will want to stick their little fingers into the outlet just because that’s what children do! These are the outlets you should think about purchasing Child Safety Outlet Covers for. Older homes not required to have RCDs are especially in danger of electrocution, so at the very least, get those outlets covered!
Surge Protector Power Strips
In homes not fitted with RCD Safety Switches, you might also want to go the extra mile by purchasing surge protection power strips to plug in all your devices hooked up to your home network. This would include, but not limited to, your modem, printer and any other devices connecting to the internet from your home.
Many families have more than one computer running at the same time and this would constitute a local area network, LAN. Can you imagine life without being connected? As difficult as that may be, imagine what one power surge can do to your entire home and family.
The Domino Effect
One faulty piece of electronic equipment can be, and has been, the ultimate cause of a catastrophic home fire. Some families have lost everything due to an electrical fire, so you need to stop and ask yourself whether you can afford not to protect your family.
The cost of installing RCD safety switches or purchasing outlet covers and surge protectors is minimal compared to the losses which could result from an electrical fire. The best way to protect your family would be to understand just how quickly a surge of power could result in serious injury or loss of property.
Remember, all those circuits run through your home and one faulty circuit could have the domino effect. A small investment now can be the literal difference between life and death. That’s what you need to know to protect your family from the dangers of that very same electricity you can’t imagine living without.