15 Electrical Safety Tips At Home, Both For Homeowners And Renters

Date Jul 19, 2021
Blog category Power
By Staff Writer

Owning or renting a home is a huge responsibility, and one of the main things people should consider before buying one or signing the lease is electrical safety.

Practicing electrical safety tips is essential to lower your risk of accidents, avoid overheating your appliances, and of course, keep you and your family safe. Apart from that, New Zealand has Electricity Safety Regulations 2010 to encourage the health and safety of Kiwis. It promotes the prevention of accidents and damage to property when it comes to using electricity.

Whether you're moving to a new place or just want to make sure your home is safe to live in, read on for some electrical safety tips to consider.


If you're looking for a new place to rent:

1. Check for smoke alarms

Check if your building or place has any smoke alarms in case of fire or electrical issues. Ask the landlord or owner if you can test it out to see if it's working correctly.

2. Check the water heater

Make sure that the water heater and other heating systems at the place are working well. After all, you don't want a cold place and cold baths during winter, or worse, getting electrocuted because of a broken heater.

3. Are there any faulty electrical wirings?

Scan the place and see if there are any faulty electrical wirings or exposed wires that need to be fixed.

4. Check the sockets

When checking or moving to a place, test if all the sockets are working correctly and if there are any loose or broken power socket covers that might reveal wirings.

If you already have your own house:

5. Make sure you're using the right wattage in your appliances and fixtures

Using the wrong wattage in your place's fixtures and appliances can cause electrical problems, so give them a check when you have time.

6. Avoid overloading your electrical sockets and extension plugs with too many devices

A vacant electrical outlet doesn't automatically mean you can just plug in all your gadgets and appliances all at once. This may cause electrical problems and eventually become unusable.

You may take note of the following tips:

  • Avoid using your extension cords or outlet for appliances.
  • As much as possible, apply one heat-producing appliance at a time.
  • Have your outlets checked if you notice that they're hot
  • Get smart plugs to monitor outlet power loads and have your outlets be automatically turned off if it begins to overheat.

7. Give your appliances enough space at home for air circulation to avoid overheating

Putting your appliances in tight, enclosed areas may cause your equipment to overheat quickly, which can affect their performance and become an electrical fire hazard in the long run. Put them in place with proper circulation. Avoid putting and running small equipment in enclosed cabinets. For gas and electric dryer, make sure to put them at least one foot away from the wall.

8. Keep toys and clothes away from your appliances

Whether out of habit or not, there really are some appliances that make the perfect spot for our toys, smaller gadgets, and sometimes clothes, but this habit of putting things on your appliances can be bad, as they can get warm sometimes and can damage both.

9. Keep your cords tidy

Too many cords can be an eyesore, especially when they're disorganized, and while hiding them beneath rugs may seem like a good solution, it can also become a trip hazard at your home. Covering your cords might keep them from being cool and prevent you from freeing frays or wiring problems right away.

10. Leave electrical wirings to professionals

Electrical systems can be dangerous, so it's best to consult with electricians or ask them to help you install new wiring or electrical appliances. When in doubt, always leave it to the professionals to keep your home safe and in compliance with electrical codes.


11. Install smoke detectors

Put your mind at ease even you're not home by installing smoke detectors. These detectors can help alert you in case of a potential electrical fire.

12. Consider installing a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for your place

Keep your place even more safe by installing a GCFI, particularly at hazardous areas where electrical circuits are most likely to accidentally come into contact with water like your kitchen, bathroom, basement, near pools, crawl spaces, etc. GCFIs can help prevent you from getting electrocuted. If your body receives a shock, the GCFI will cut off the power to keep you from getting injured.

13. Keep trees away from power lines

Electrical safety doesn't end inside your house. If trees surround your property, be sure to keep the branches away from power lines as they can create dangerous shock hazards that may cause serious injuries to you and your neighbors. Trees are one of the leading causes of power outages and often delay the repairing process of electricians. Contact the authority first before doing any trimmings or cuttings on your trees.

14. Take note of where your fuse boxes and circuit breakers are located

Take note of where important electrical tools such as fuse boxes and circuit breakers are situated at your property. Ensure that everyone in your household knows how they function and where they're located if the electricity needs to be turned off in an emergency.

15. Sometimes, it's best to leave it to the experts

If there are any electrical repairs or rewiring needed at your place and you're unsure about how to fix them, leave it to someone experienced to do the fixing instead of doing it yourself (unless you have a certification).

Regularly perform basic electrical safety checks! Here are some things to check or look for when doing so:

  • Light bulbs that often blink or not working
  • Switches that aren't working or functioning properly
  • Power sockets that spark when you use it
  • Power sockets that don't work
  • Power sockets with exposed wirings
  • Dark or burn marks around your power outlets and switches
  • Exposed wires in your appliances, sockets, etc.
  • Appliances that aren't working
  • Loud buzzing sounds coming from your electrical appliances or power sockets

Lastly, make sure you're getting the right power plan for your place! Being in the wrong plan or provider may cost you more money in the long run.

Start comparing today and find the best power deals from leading NZ providers, right here at CompareBear!