Dangers of electricity in the home

The average family now has 41 electrical appliances in their home [1], and as a result, around 2.5 [2] million people receive a mains voltage electric shock each year. So when it comes to household electrical safety, we think there’s definitely some room for improvement.

The biggest dangers from electricity are fire and shock, and a lot of accidents are down to loose connections, which can then lead to fires.

Being aware of the potential dangers, using properly qualified electricians and carrying out regular safety checks can minimise the risk of accidents happening.

Overloaded plug socket

Electrical hazards in the home

Our npower engineers are trained to spot potential electrical dangers around the home. They've created a list of some of the key hazards they encounter on a daily basis for you to keep a look out for:

  1. Faulty flex

    One of the biggest causes of shock is faulty flexes on irons. Watch out for frayed flexes which are common as they can tangle, especially when they’re not stored properly.
  2. Animal alert

    Pets won’t think twice about chewing through your TV cable, knocking your iron off the ironing board, or tipping over a vase of water onto an electrical appliance whilst it’s on. All of these could result in a house fire or electric shock for you or your family members.
  3. Be switched on around small children

    Don’t leave young children unattended around electrical appliances that are switched on, especially heaters. It’s easy to forget when you’re in a familiar setting just how dangerous the home can be when you’re not alert. So it’s a good idea to risk assess a new home before you move in, or just before you have a baby. Look at your surroundings and remove appliances which are potentially dangerous, or take precautions to ensure children and babies can’t injure themselves.
  4. Socket overload

    Despite the fact you might now have more and more electrical items, you probably haven’t increased the number of electrical sockets you have in your home. Often we combine extension leads and adaptors without realising the possible dangers, but it’s important to never overload plug sockets and adapters.

Electrical Safety First has some great practical advice and easy to follow diagrams about socket safety.


[1] Energy Saving Trust

[2] Electrical Safety First - People receiving a mains voltage electric shock per year (15+): 2.5 million, of whom received a serious injury: 350,000.

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