The Dangers of Damaged Light Switches and Powerpoints
Electricity is a truly incredible resource that we depend on to run our homes, businesses, workplaces and lives. However, electricity has the potential to be very dangerous when not used correctly and safely. Electrical appliances, parts and materials can often become damaged and worn over time and when electrical issues are not addressed quickly and effectively by a skilled electrician, electrocution becomes a significant concern which can have harmful health consequences.
Luckily, our electrical technicians at Circuit City Electrical are here to help ensure that you are not only using electricity to its full potential but using it correctly and as safely as possible - your safety is so important to us! So we thought it would be beneficial to point out a common electrical hazard that we have been noticing and addressing for Circuit City customers recently and this is damaged powerpoints and switches.
The plastic covering on switches and powerpoints, houses and protects you from dangerous electrical components that have electricity actively running through them. Therefore, any damage to the plastic surround and particularly the plastic switch itself can result in contact being made between you (your finger) and this current, resulting in possible electrocution. It is useful to note that black wires in particular, if touched, will cause electrocution so it is important to keep clear of these - and any other electrical wires for that matter! This can be even more dangerous if the wires were to come in contact with water (such as the water off of your fingers after getting out of the shower) as water is able to carry electricity, thus enabling the current to reach you.
There is also potential for damaged switches to cause fire. If plastic switches or plastic surrounds are damaged, this could also indicate that the wires themselves could be damaged. This damage can result in a loss of heat from the components and the heat released can lead to a fire. Additionally, sparks may be produced indicating electrical damage and these sparks can ignite what they come into contact with. It is also useful to know that fires caused by electrical damage should not be extinguished with water due to the properties of water mentioned above.
Key things to look out for
Cracks in the powerpoint, plastic switch, or the plastic plate surrounding these
Scent of burning
If you notice any form of sparks from the powerpoint or switch
Any sign of blackening or general wear
What may appear to be minor damage could have the potential to be quite significant so it is important to have an assessment undertaken by an electrician to not only help ensure that your home, business or workplace is safe but also to give you the piece of mind that you’re looking for. Please do not attempt to replace damaged switches or powerpoints if you are not qualified to do so - please call us and we will send one of our technicians to you!
Until an electrician arrives, it is a safe option to go to your switchboard and flick off the circuit breaker that is linked to supplying the specific site or location of damage with electricity in order to halt this supply. Here at Circuit City Electrical, we are ready to help with any form of damage you may observe and nothing is too small or silly … it doesn’t hurt to ask!