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Our homes are full of electrical appliances, big and small. Growing up personally, my family was lucky enough to share a phone, computer and maybe a video game console between the whole household. Now, everyone has their own collection of gadgets. 

That’s not a bad thing, though. We can use phones and laptops to learn and engage with new sources of information and new people. However, there are inherent risks with additional electronic gadgets.

It’s important to be smart and safe with home electronics. Faulty wiring or parts can be dangerous. Improper use of power points may put your whole family at risk. Even the smallest gadget could be a problem if it’s not treated with care. 

That’s why I always pay attention to electricity safety at home. I find these are the best ways to stay safe from electric hazards and accidents.

Avoid Charging Appliances Overnight

One of my biggest fears is that something could go wrong with my kids charging their phones overnight, right by their pillows. Too often there are social media stories about phones bursting into flame and burning an unsuspecting sleeper or setting fire to the home.

Thankfully it is rare for something to go wrong. The average smartphone can safely charge overnight without the battery overheating. It’s only a defective battery that will overheat or spark, while a damaged power outlet and faulty wiring can be to blame.

Those problems are rare and are usually caused by manufacturing defects. It’s why you should always keep an eye out for emails or updates about manufacturer recalls

If you are concerned about the risks, get the kids to charge their phones after school or in the morning. The team at Mr Emergency suggest setting up a communal charging station in the hallway or kitchen so no one forgets their phone before heading out the door. 

This is an incredibly convenient way to look after small appliances, especially if you install USB power outlets, too. It means no one is glued to a screen 24/7 as they have to set aside the phone while charging. It’s also much harder to misplace your phone when you’ve got a dedicated location for charging it.

Stop Placing Too Many Plugs on One Outlet

Overloaded power outlets are never good. In my experience, there’s always the occasion where an extra hairdryer or computer sucking on your power supply can trip a circuit breaker. 

New houses are better suited to modern electronics because they are designed with more outlets. But I know my parents’ home might be lucky enough to have one outlet in a room. They have always relied on power boards for the TV.

So if you can, stop placing power boards and additional outlets in every room. If you do have a room with limited outlets and gadgets that need power, purchase a surge protector power board. It will protect your appliances, house wiring and family from power surges. 

Nicely organised power points also prevent family drama when one kid unplugs the wrong item and suddenly that phone has not been charging for the last two hours. 

Don’t Cover Charging Appliances

Plenty of charging accidents occur when a phone overheats underneath a pillow or blanket. Smartphones and tablets need to be out in the open when they charge. 

If they overheat easily or are defective, you could definitely be at a fire risk. Once again, just stick to a safe location for charging. Don’t put any books or clothes on top of a charging laptop or phone. Let it chill in the open.

Keep Electrical Devices Away From Water

Although this is common knowledge for adults and teenagers, our little ones might not understand yet – but chances are they already know how to use a tablet! If you do allow younger kids to use a tablet or phone, make sure they understand the dangers of electricity in water.

The risk of electric shock is always high. And as our kids average 10 electrical items each, that’s a lot to possibly damage or cause trouble with!

You don’t have to scare them, but just reassure them that you can break a phone if it gets wet. Keeping them educated around bathtubs, pools and even with their own drinks will keep everyone safe and sound.

Maintain Safe Electrical Cords and Outlets

You want to keep everyone safe with well maintained electrical cords. Whether it’s an extension cord or the laptop’s charging cable, do not use it if it’s damaged. 

Some charging cables can be recalled due to electrical safety fears, too. Bad manufacturing can cause chargers to short circuit and trip your switchboard’s safety switches. Thankfully safety precautions like an RCD safety switch keep your home safe, but there’s always the chance of something going wrong.

But with vigilance you can quickly replace any damaged electronics without risk to you and the family. This is especially important for households with pets! Cats, dogs, hamsters and rabbits all love to nibble on cords when left unattended. 

A great way to keep everything safer for longer is to neatly organise your home electronics from day one. Tidy everything up behind the TV or in the study. Purchase some cable ties so there are no loose cords or tripping hazards. There’s no need to have cables everywhere, the kids make enough mess as it is!

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  • Most of those tips are common knowledge I think but it’s great to be reminded as we can become quite lax.

    Reply

  • Now that my children are aged 17 – 21, it is practically impossible to stop them from charging their phones over night in their rooms, not to mention having them in their beds with them :( I have told them over & over how dangerous it is but like most kids their age, they know better & never think anything bad will happen to them.

    Reply

  • We also have a charging station, and it’s really helpful for keeping devices out of bedrooms overnight.

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  • Fantastic safety tips there!

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  • Common sense but a good reminder indeed

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  • Always good to be reminded of electrical dangers!

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  • Great tips that we should all be aware of. Thanks for the post.

    Reply

  • Great tips

    Easy to over use outlets with everyone wanting their device charged.

    Under pillows scares me, I’m forever reminding the teenagers not to do that

    Reply

  • These are good tips to consider.


    • I never charge my phone in my bedroom

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  • Always good to be reminded of electrical dangers. We sometimes become complacent.

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  • I actually go around at night turning the switches off at night. Essentially the thing plugged in and on is our fridge, TV, microwave, lamps everything is off. Our dishwasher we rarely use besides giving it a rinse cycle every now and then since I use it as a dish rack for drying hand washed dishes.

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  • Great article. My husband fell asleep with his phone charging next to him on the couch. He woke up and it was super hot and smoking. I’d hate to think what could have happened if he hadn’t woken up….

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  • It all makes sense. I always charge my phone overnight because it’s convenient. I know it’s not the best.

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  • These are great tips, I’m so paranoid about electrical safety!

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  • Great article, I too am guilty of charging my phone overnight as it’s usually flat by the end of the day never thought it could cause a fire
    Something to keep in minds
    I especially thought the communal charging station is a good tip

    Reply

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