Did you know that electricity incidence is responsible for the death of a huge number of people worldwide?
According to electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk, about 2.5million people receives a mains voltage electric shock
per year, while about 350,000 of this number, received a serious injury from the shock. Whether we agree
or not, electricity has become a great necessity if we are to survive this highly demanding modern life.
Wherever you might find yourself, be it indoors, outdoors, at home, or at work you will agree electricity
has made our lives easier, and more comfortable. However, we sometimes ignore the degree of harm that
this “life comforter” portends forgetting that it’s got a high risk potential to cause harm. While we get used
to it providing us with the ultimate in convenience, electrical power is a force to be mindful, respectful and
Everyday we wake up to news of incidents caused by electrical hazards. Recently, the Grenfell Tower
building in west London was engulfed in a deadly blaze that claimed the life of over 80 people (CNN).
Another news was trending few weeks ago of a man that died trying to save his child who was
electrocuted in the swimming pool. There are rumors that the fire was caused by a faulty electrical
appliance. The U.S. Fire Administration statistics once indicated that faulty home electrical wiring is
responsible for 26,000 residential fires a year, hundreds of deaths, and thousands of injuries. The
question is, are these incidents preventable? The candid answer is yes! Thus, this article will provide tips
for safe use of electricity in your home, hence preventing you from being added to the electrical incidence
Safe Electricity recommends you make sure your home is free of electrical hazards. Unfortunately,
electrical hazards often go untended until it is too late.
We may think we know all there is to know about the dangers of electrical mishaps, but there are still
electrical safety rules to be strictly observed to help maintain proper caution, eliminate hazards that may
be lurking around your home, and keep your family safe from electrical fires and accidents.
Electrical Safety Tips
1. Never ever overload sockets. It's safetysmart to use just one plug in every socket. Even if you need
to use an adapter ensure you use the bar type that also has a fuse. The total output of all plugs in
the adapter should not be above the specified rating.
2. Always ensure you use an extension that is appropriate for the power
loading you need. Three-pin plug extension box are considered safer because with
only two pin plug are not ‘earthed’ and are thus dangerous. If a faulty appliance is plugged into a
non-earthed plug (two pin extension) it can cause power to flow through your body with potentially fatal
3. Always ensure you turn off all electrical appliances when they're not in use, including electric
4. Before going to bed, make it a routine to check that all electrical devices not in use are properly
shut off. Always make it a habit to carry out periodic routine checks on the condition of the plugs,
wires and sockets, paying attention to any burnt or frayed wires on appliance, loose-fittings on
plugs, which has the potential to cause shocks or even start a fire. Ensure it is replaced with a
genuine once discovered to be missing or broken so that the inner wiring components are not
exposed. For parents and guardians with young children, always make sure safety covers are used
on unused outlets and outlets are not overloaded with too many appliance plugs. Another good
advice is to install tamper-resistant receptacles which have a built-in shutter system that prevents
hairpins and other small objects from being inserted into the outlet.
5. Never allow wires or leads to run under rugs or carpets, resting on furniture, or located in high
traffic areas. Do not nail or staple cords to walls, floors or any other objects. (Trip hazard is
responsible for the death and injury of about) where they remain invisible. Besides being a tripping
hazard it’s hard to see the state of the cables or wires.
6. Never ever allow electric wires or cables to trail over kitchen appliances like toasters or stove tops.
These are very dangerous and are hazards of the worst kind. Also, never finger the toaster with
anything, especially with any metal.
7. Do not stick in nails or try to make holes in the walls of your home. It's a potential danger since you
may not know what's behind your point of entry. And you should also take care when digging or
excavating as you run the risk of cutting live underground wire.
8. Ensure you always touch your electrical appliances with dry hands only.
9. It's best to avoid taking major electrical appliances into a bathroom. Always check for the wire
coding on appliances like hair dryers, hair straighteners or radios that are often used in bathrooms.
A lady died few weeks ago in her bathtub while charging her phone and using while in the bathtub
10. Electrical fire incidents don’t happen intentionally, that is more reason why you should get a class-
C fire extinguisher, and also know how to put out an electrical fire if one breaks out in your home.
11. Make sure that your children do not walk in wet into the house directly from the rain or your
swimming pool. Your home is a place that is full of electrical sources and could pose a threat to
their safety. Get them to dry out completely before entering the house.
12. Always check your electrical panel to make sure that the breakers and fuses are properly rated for
the circuit that they are protecting. If you do not know what the correct rating is, have a qualified
electrician identify and label the correct size to be used. If you are replacing a fuse, make sure that
you replace it with the same size as the one that you are removing. If an appliance repeatedly blows
a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or gives you an electrical shock, immediately unplug, repair or replace
13. To prevent having unexpected shocks, always wear antistatic shoes. Also check for or install ground
fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). A GFCI is an inexpensive electrical device that shuts off power
instantly if there is problem. GFCIs should be installed in all “wet” areas of the home such as
bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. GFCIs should be tested monthly to ensure they are working
properly. GFCIs could prevent more than two-thirds of the roughly 300 electrocutions that happen
each year in the home.
14. Consider installing arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) on bedroom circuits, smoke detectors in
all bedrooms and in hallways within 15 feet of bedrooms, and at least one smoke detector on every
level. You can get a smoke detector for as low as N5000, and this can save you millions of naira in
investment. Carbon monoxide detectors should also be within 15 feet of each bedroom. Check with
your local electrical inspector or send us an email if you have questions or concerns.
15. Always get a qualified and registered electrician to do all electrical safety check
and repairs in your home. You should never carry out electrical maintenance or repair if you are
not a certified electrician. A story was published on “Punch Newspaper” of a 35-year-old woman,
Loretta Ewere, who was electrocuted to death at her fiance’s home on Ajoke Kazeem Street in
the Idimu area of Lagos State. The fiancé, named Segun Tolani, was fixing an electrical fault
when the incident happened. Punch reported that Ewere and Tolani had scheduled their wedding
for November and preparation was in top gear when tragedy struck. An eye witness reported that
Mr. Segun had wanted to change his old cable TV decoder and antenna. When power was
restored, he discovered that he didn’t have electricity in his house. “He wanted to do it himself,
but neighbors advised him to get the service of an electrician. He contacted an electrician who
billed him N2,500. But he said the charge was too high. He decided to go and rent a wooden
ladder from someone in the area. He mounted the ladder on the wall and called the lady from
inside the room to assist him in holding the ladder. She held the ladder with one hand and held
an iron pole beside the room with the other hand. While he was working, the wire fell and touched
the pole she was holding and that was how she was electrocuted. An electrician was said to have
been invited, who then disconnected the power. The woman fell down and hit her head against
the concrete floor. People tried to resuscitate her by giving her milk; but she didn’t come round.
A lot of time had been wasted. She was rushed to a private hospital in the area, but she was
rejected. She was finally taken to the general hospital, where she was confirmed dead. However,
a relative, who identified himself simply as Charles, blamed the incident on Tolani’s stinginess.
He said, “It was the man’s stinginess that killed her. If he had paid someone to fix the electrical
fault, this would not have happened.”