Most common electrical hazards in your home

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To avoid electrical hazards in your home, you should regularly check appliances for frayed cords, keep outlets away from water sources, supervise children around electrical outlets, avoid DIY wiring jobs, and avoid overloading outlets.

Always turn off the power before working on any appliance and remove any unsafe or damaged electrical equipment or cords. Use battery-powered tools whenever possible and ensure proper isolation and tag-out procedures are active.

Regularly test and tag electrical appliances to guarantee they are in working order, and only allow licensed and registered electricians to perform electrical work.

Understanding potential hazards and how they can be caused is important to avoid them.

How do you avoid common electrical hazards in your home?

As more electric gadgets become a part of our lives, the risk of accidents from electricity also increases. Many serious accidents happen yearly because of electrical mishaps, so knowing what causes and how to prevent them is crucial. This article outlines some common electrical hazards in your home and how to avoid them.

Old electrical appliances

Old devices account for the highest number of electrical hazards in your home. More specifically, frayed cords that come with old electrical appliances cause issues. To avoid these issues, make sure that you regularly check your appliances for frayed electrical cords. Regularly inspect your laptop and phone charging cables for damage, as they can easily get damaged from frequent use.

If you notice fraying or damage, make sure that you replace it as soon as possible. Contacting a professional to replace the line for cables within complex equipment such as switchboards is best.

old electrical appliance


As many of us know, water is a conductor of electricity. Subsequently, water can cause fatal accidents if they come in contact with each other.

Water-related common electrical hazards in your home usually occur when electrical outlets are located near water sources. Therefore, you must install electrical outlets as far away from water sources as possible, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

Another problem that can cause issues is handling electrical appliances with wet hands. For example, many people need to use the hairdryer directly after coming out of the shower, which is risky. Make sure you are completely dry before handling any electrical appliances.


The risk of common electrical hazards in your home increases significantly when children are around. This is because curious children try to tamper with electrical outlets, usually with their fingers or other objects.

If left unsupervised, children may pull plugs out, hit plugs or generally play with them. As a parent, guardian or supervisor, you should take extra precautions around electrical outlets. If you have or regularly have children at your house, we strongly recommend purchasing child-proof electrical outlets.

Poor wiring

Poor wiring is another primary reason for many common electrical hazards in your home. If your wiring is defective, it can lead to fires and power surges. This is why it is essential to have a professional do your wiring and avoid DIY jobs.

Experts suggest having electricians regularly check for corroded or worn wires to prevent potential safety risks in homes. The electrician will come to your house and assess your wiring. While this may sound unnecessary, it may be why there is no electricity-related incident in your home.

Overloaded outlets

Many homeowners now use extension cords to charge more devices than before. However, loading too many appliances on one outlet can significantly increase the electrical fire and power surge risk.

Common electrical hazards can happen if you use too much power in an outlet that can only handle a certain amount. Ensure you avoid relying on extension cords as a permanent substitute for a power outlet, or check the power rating of your outlets before using an extension cord.

Power on inspection

Electrical hazards can happen at home when you check an appliance that is still plugged in and receiving power. Always ensure that the appliance and the power outlet are turned off when repairing, moving or maintaining any electrical device.

bad electrical wiring - an electrical hazard
Electrical wiring undertaken by a home handyman as in this example is a fire risk waiting to strike

Not using ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

People don’t use GFCIs enough. They are electrical safety devices that detect imbalances in electrical circuits and prevent electric shocks and surges. People use GFCIs in the most commonly used outlets, such as in the bathroom and kitchen.

Outdoor common electrical hazards for your home

As everything today is moving towards being electrical, the amount of appliances we use outside has increased. Having electricity exposed to the environment drastically increases risks.

If you have exposed cords and outlets outside, you must purchase covers. This will protect anything coming into direct contact with them, subsequently minimising the risk of an incident.

If you have a lot of electrical appliances outside within one area, you should look into electrical grounding. This is where the electricity from the various devices can be directed through a singular live wire that travels through the ground. The wire will then safely discharge excess electricity to the ground, removing the risk of overheating and fires.


Most electrical devices create heat when used, so when left on for a long time, they can overheat and cause a fire. This is common for many bathroom and kitchen appliances, such as a hair dryer. When using a device that creates heat, ensure you only use it for the required time and then turn it off.

You should also be aware of where devices that create heat are located.

General tips

Here are our top tips to minimise common electrical hazards in your home:

  • Ensure the proper isolation and tag-out procedures are active
  • Residual current or safety switches can be used with portable equipment according to the WHS Regulations
  • Use battery-powered tools instead of mains power tools, if possible
  • Turn off all electricity before working on any appliance
  • Regularly test and tag electrical appliances to guarantee it is in working order
  • Only allow licensed and registered electricians to perform electrical work
  • Remove any unsafe or damaged electrical equipment or cords from your workspace
  • Do not overload any power sockets
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