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Tips for keeping your children safe – Part 4 – Electricity 

Similarly to water and fire, electricity is a real danger to both children and adults. 

Load shedding has exacerbated this, as people tend to improvise with makeshift hacks to keep their power supply going, without considering the possible consequences. 

Firstly, if you are not a qualified electrician, refrain from trying to re-arrange the wiring on your distribution box to make your inverter last longer.

Never assume that load shedding timetables are cast in stone. You may believe that you have 2 hours to fiddle in safety – but believe me, if the power suddenly returns, you’ll certainly be in harm’s way. 

Remember that if you are electrocuted, the person helping you by steadying you or the ladder, will be electrocuted too – and just as badly. 

During these times, many households have resorted to utilising generators to help alleviate some of the inconveniences that come with power outages. 

If you’re one of these households, the following points are handy to remember.

  1. Generators are noisy and long term use at absurd hours can lead to neighbours becoming enemies.
  2. Generators produce exhaust fumes that can be deadly to people or pets, unless properly ventilated.
  3. This equipment requires fuel, make sure it is stored in a safe place.
  4. Generators often have cooling fans, to help cool their exhaust outlets. Even with these cooling aids, sometimes they can still rise to boiling temperatures, so it is extremely important that children are kept well away from them at all times.
  5. Do not ever re-fuel a generator while it is running. Similarly, do not connect a plug to the generator output cable, with the intention of plugging it into a wall plug socket. Any injury or death of a person or persons as well as any damage to the household electrical system will result in you being liable.
  6. Be very cautious when picking up a casual worker holding up an ‘Electrician for hire’ sign outside a building hardware store. While it is wonderful to empower and provide potential work to someone, perhaps ask for proof of their certification or compliance  before hiring them. Be cognisant that when you sell your house you will require an electrical compliance certificate. Any cheap, quick fixes will have to be rectified and signed off by a qualified electrician, which may be more costly in the long run. Lastly, remember to stay safe – you have no idea whether the person you are hiring has a criminal record or not.
  7. No electrical devices should ever be taken into the bathroom where they could be dropped into the bath or shower. These include hairdryers, extension cords, charging cables etc.
  8. Small fingers and random items, e.g. paper clips or any thin metallic objects act as deadly conductors of electricity when pushed into a plug socket. Plug safety covers are cheap and they work very well.

Have a practical, honest look around your home and outside, at your electric fence and make sure you and your family are safe.

Perhaps pass this info on to your friends and family – it might just save a life.