©istockphoto/Sarah Skiba

Cut fire risk with appliance check

AS winter draws to an end, Country Energy is encouraging households to keep safety in mind when using common household electrical appliances.

Country Energy's regional general manager for the Far North Coast Richard Wake yesterday warned that taking a few simple precautions with electrical appliances would help keep people safe.

“We urge people to carefully check their winter appliances, including heaters and electric blankets, to make sure they're still in good working order,” Mr Wake said.

He warned signs of electrical wear and tear could include loose plugs, frayed leads or exposed wires, mechanisms not working as they should, broken power points or switches and unsafe wiring.

“Unfortunately, faulty appliances can be the cause of household fires, and any appliances, power points, switches, plugs or power leads that are not properly maintained are potential ignition points,” Mr Wake said.

“If you find any signs of damage or ageing, or even if you suspect something might be faulty, replace the appliance or have it serviced by an authorised repairer immediately.

Never try to fix electrical items yourself; it's definitely not worth the risk.”

Mr Wake said Country Energy also recommended never touching anything electrical with wet hands or bare feet and not using portable heaters in bathroom areas.

As an extra safety measure homeowners should install smoke detectors and safety switches which are designed to turn the power off when a faulty appliance or damage to electrical cables is detected.

“We also stress that if anyone receives an electrical shock they should always seek medical advice, even if they do not appear injured,” Mr Wake said.

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