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Electrical safety around the home

The following information is intended as a general guide only to electrical safety.

Please note that any electrical installations from your ESB Networks meter into your home are your responsibility. And all repair work to these should only be carried out by a registered electrical contractor.

Trip switches and fuses

Trip switches and fuses are essential safety devices that cut off the flow of electricity in your home if a fault occurs.

Bathroom safety

Water and electricity don't mix, so follow these special wiring rules and requirements for better bathroom safety.

  • Never use a plug-in appliance in a bathroom, en-suite or any wet area. The only exception to this rule is specially designed electric shaver outlets.

Kitchen safety

The combination of electricity, water and hot surfaces can make your kitchen a dangerous place. Here are some simple precautions you can take.

  • Have a fire blanket and fire extinguisher easily accessible in the kitchen.
  • Unplug your electric kettle before filling it, and always replace a leaking kettle immediately.
  • Unplug electric appliances before cleaning them.
  • Have faulty appliances repaired by a professional.
  • When you are buying kitchen appliances (or any electrical appliances), make sure that they carry the CE approval mark, which implies that they meet European safety requirements.
  • Don't use cracked, loose, or damaged sockets or switches.
  • Don't leave flexes trailing across the cooker, hob or sink.
  • Don't handle plugs or switches with wet hands, and never let plugs get wet.
  • Don't try to release jammed toast from a toaster while it is still plugged in.
  • Don't use appliances with worn or damaged flexes - replace the appliance, or have it repaired by a professional.

The rest of your home

With computers, game consoles, TVs, DVD players and more, modern living rooms have more socket outlets than ever before.

  • You should consider fitting surge protection equipment to sensitive electrical appliances to prevent damage in the event of an electrical surge.
  • Never extend a cord or a lead with taped joints or homemade socket assemblies.
  • You should never nail or staple cords or leads to walls, as this can damage the cord, resulting in electric shock.
  • Do not place cords under rugs or carpets, as this can cause overheating.
  • Never try to repair faulty appliances.
  • Never try to force a 2-pin plug into a 3-pin socket - this can be extremely dangerous. Replace the 2-pin plug with a suitable 3-pin plug top.

See more information on Child safety, DIY and gardening safety and the ESB Networks booklet The safe use of electricity in the home.

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