GNcareers, from Gulf News

Avoiding electrical hazards and fires at home

Electrical HazardsImage Credit: Supplied

The home is where you feel the safest and most comfortable. To ensure you and your family’s safety at home at all times, take heed of simple precautions to curb the chances of fire accidents.

• Gas tanks – Most house fires start from the kitchen. Exercise extra care when using a gas tank. Never leave open fires unattended. Remember that oil catches fire easily on high temperatures; if this happens, use a fire blanket to douse the flame. When you want to do some grilling, do it outdoors in an open area, i.e. front or backyard, not in a garage.

• Candles – Although scented candles can transform a home into a relaxing haven and keep it smelling fresh, be mindful when using them. However romantic an aura they may exude, they can cause fires. Keep them in steady and heat-resistant holders, and out of reach of children and pets.

• Smoking – It always makes sense to impose a “No Smoking” policy within your abode, including the balcony. Aside from averting fire accidents, it also creates a healthy environment, keeping all occupants from inhaling smoke that leads to serious illnesses.

• Electrical items – Replace faulty electrical wirings and frayed circuits which can spark and start fires. Do not overload sockets. Use approved adaptors. Be extra careful when using electric irons and hairstyling tools.

• Lighting – Place lampshades on fixed surfaces. Replace worn-out light fittings. Decorative lights add glamour to any space and occasion, but keep a regular check on them. Do the same to all outdoor lighting fixtures.

• Combustible materials - Paints, cleaning chemicals, flammable liquids and fuel should be stored in a safe place away from heat.

While all these are doable, it pays to remind your household from time to time about the dangers of house fires and how to avoid them. Do not forget to display the fire department’s number in an area that is accessible to everyone. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and have your smoke alarm checked periodically.

Handy Hints
• Store flammable liquids and chemicals in a safe place away from heat
• Replace faulty wirings immediately and have smoke alarm regularly checked
• Educate your household on survival techniques by practising fire drills at home

Source: Alfred Ocianas, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer