Electrical shock and fire are the major hazards that we know of and that are generally associated with electricity.

The effect of electrical shock may vary from minor burns to life ending cardiac arrests.

Proper safety measures as a result of electrical safety awareness is a must for you and your family to live in this world which is filled with appliances, gadgets, tools, equipments, machinery etc – all of which operate on electricity.

Fortunately, these hazards can be eliminated or reduced by staying aware and taking steps to eliminate their dangers, ideally with the assistance of an electrician. These are eight of the most dangerous electrical hazards that could arise in any home.

Electrical Hazards In the Home


Good quality wiring that conforms to safety standards is vital for safety. Poor wiring can increase chance of fire, power surges, arc faults, and other serious consequences. For this reason, it’s always best to avoid a do-it-yourself electrical work and please get professional electricians to perform electrical wiring.

Damaged, worn, cracked or corroded electrical wires can increase the chance of electrical accidents. Have a qualified electrician check your wiring on a regular basis to ensure wiring is safe. If you need to, upgrade and replace old and faulty wires.

    Some hazards include:
  • Loose or improper connections, such as electrical outlets or switches
  • Frayed appliance or extension cords
  • Pinched or pierced wire insulation, which could occur from, for example, a chair leg sitting on an extension cord
  • Cracked wire insulation caused by heat, age, corrosion or bending
  • Overheated wires or cords
  • Damaged electrical appliances
  • Electrical wire that has been chewed by rodents


  • Outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, and other living areas with proximity to water source should be installed a fair distance away from it.
  • As water conducts electricity, keeping outlets away from water reduces the chance of electric shock.
  • Never use a radio, hair dryer, phone, or other device in the bath, near the pool, or anywhere with a wet floor.


Similarly, electrical appliances should never be handled with wet hands as this heightens the chance of getting an electric shock. Yet too many of us tend to reach for the hair dryer with wet hands out of the shower. Keep appliances far away from sinks, bathtubs, showers, and taps..


A common error is pouring water on electrical fires. If an electrical fire does occur, avoid pouring water on the flames as water will further fuel the fire and could cause electrocution. Keep a fire extinguisher on site if you’re worried about electrical fires and use that instead of water in times of emergency. If you don’t have one nearby, turn off your electrical power, evacuate your home and call the fire brigade.


Young babies and toddlers tend to be extremely inquisitive and keen to explore their world. While it’s always best to supervise children of this age all the time, parents and adults expecting children at their house can take extra measures to protect young children.

Any electrical outlet at their height and within their reach can be replaced with EXTRA-SAFE power-points. These can be interchanged with a normal power point and prevent sharp objects and fingers from going into the socket. Unprotected sockets can lead to serious injury.


Extension cords should be carefully fixed in place where possible to reduce the chance of tripping or accident. Use plastic socket closures on unused sockets. Don’t use extension cords as a permanent substitute for additional power sockets, and avoid using them for too many appliances at once.


We don’t often think of light bulb’s as being electrical hazardous, but the potential for an electrical fire arises when light bulbs are kept near flammable materials. These can include beds, drapes, plastics, or other items such as upholstery.

Lights, like all sources of electricity, can also cause electric shock, so ensure you always turn the light switch off before replacing a light bulb, and never replace a light bulb or touch a light switch with wet hands. Always ensure you use a light bulb with the correct wattage to prevent overheating.


Heavy covering of wires can cause the cords to overheat, which could lead to an electrical fire. Keep cords and wires away from other items and keep them uncovered.

Similarly, make sure that items like computers and televisions have enough space around them for ventilation, to prevent them from overheating.

  • Never try to repair electrical appliances yourself, always contact a licensed electrician.
  • Check your appliances regularly for faulty switches, plugs and frayed cords.
  • Avoid overloading power boards with too many appliances at once. E.g. If you have a heater plugged into the power board, unplug it before using the hair dryer.
  • Never poke anything into an appliance while it is plugged in or in use.
  • Always use outdoor grade extension cords outside of the home.
  • Make sure your hands are dry before touching switches or electrical appliances.
  • Before cleaning areas like the kitchen, bathroom or laundry, make sure all appliances are switched off.

Educating and making everyone understand the following tips will help keep you and your family and ensure that everybody around you are safe.


  • Check and ensure the electrical wiring in your home or office is appropriate for the capacity installed and also check whether protection devices such as over-load circuit breakers, earth leakage circuit breakers, fuses etc are in place and working.
  • If you sense any smoke or smell anything burning, immediately switch off the mains and call for professional help.
  • If you come across a snapped live wire – switch off the mains supply and call for help. Never attempt to fix it yourselves – never even go near it.
  • Never attempt to join or connect any electrical connection or snapped wire – which are live – switch off the mains and call for an electrician.
  • Electrical substations are places – where dangerous high voltages are being handled. Never attempt to cross into such restricted or banned areas – for you need NOT even have to come into contact with live connections – you can be electrocuted while just being close proximity to such installations to get severe electrical shock.
  • Always use standard plugs, sockets for any electrical applications.
  • Use ONLY ISI – (Indian standard product certification) marked electrical items.
  • If you have pets – ensure that the power cords are not within their reach – they may chew on it and get electrocuted.
  • All electrical wiring and installations must be done only by a licensed electrician.
  • Do not tie any banner, clothesline etc on to the electrical post.
  • While loading an open truck – ensure that the height of material loaded is not too high to touch overhead electrical lines.
  • Always put up MEN AT WORK signs near main switches – after switching them OFF - while doing any electrical repairs, this is to warn anyone – who may want to switch on the main switch - that by switching on it may cause a life threatening situation.
  • Always treat an electrical circuit as alive – unless it is proved beyond doubt.
  • Keep a rubber mat and thick rubber gloves along with small standard tools - handy for doing any electrical repairs.
  • Ensure that the technician undertaking any electrical repair is fully aware of the work.
  • Keep firefighting equipments handy and easily available during an electrical emergency.
  • Understand the method to operate firefighting equipments and be fully aware about the types of equipments that need to be used for different types of fires.
  • You may use ONLY thick blankets and sand to fight electrical fires.
  • Do not switch on or switch off or try to tamper any switches – without knowing which circuits are being operated.
  • When you are near or handling a high voltage / high tension apparatus – be careful – you need not actually come in contact – because high voltages flashes or arcs are known to give an electric shock.
  • While operating Industrial type or heavy duty switches – do not do it hesitatingly - do it firmly and quickly.
  • Do not use wires that have worn out insulations.
  • Do not switch on any electrical switch - if you smell any gaseous odor.
  • Stay away from snapped power lines.
  • Extension cords are only a temporary solution and never adopt it as a permanent solution.
  • Never stack many appliances, gadgets or electrical tools through a single extension cord – heavy load may cause electrical fire.
  • While unplugging – pull out the plug rather than tugging at the power cord.
  • Repair or change loose electrical sockets.
  • While using extension cords – ensure that they are of appropriate length and has sufficient load bearing capacity.
  • Lock or cover unused power outlets or sockets using cover-plate or childproof caps.
  • Use only the appropriate plug in a particular type of socket – never attempt to insert any plug other that the standard one.
  • Keep trees and shrubs pruned away from electric power lines.
  • Do not fly kites, model aircrafts or balloons near power lines.
  • Never directly touch any one experiencing electrical shock – use a non conductor like wooden log or plastic chair etc while trying to delink the person from the live connection.
  • Once a victim of electric shock is removed from its source – call for emergency professional medical help – in the meanwhile check for breathing – if it is slow or stopping – administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation without wasting much time (refer appropriate sources for CPR methods ) .
  • Know where the fuse boxes, circuit breakers and the mains switches are and also familiarize yourselves to understand the operating procedures to switch off the electrical mains. Do this at your home and also at any new place that you may go and spend some time. Try to do this as a habit, even though people may think wrongly about you.
  • Never keep flammable materials indoors.
  • While installing Generator or any other heavy duty industrial electrical installation outside – ensure that it is covered and shielded from direct sunlight, from rain and also that it is safe from water inundation.
  • Never operate generator indoors and also ensure that it is installed with proper exhaust evacuation facility. Gaseous fumes exhausted from generators can be extremely dangerous – even life threatening.
  • Do not store fuel for generator inside your home. They should be stored only outside of living areas.
  • Take care to label the fuel for generators properly.
  • Never refuel a generator while it is still operating. Also take care to not spill it on hot engine parts.
  • Be prepared for power outages. Keep torches, flashlights, candles etc handy.
  • Never try to connect small generators at your home – all by yourselves – because back-feeding of electricity into the utility can be very dangerous.
  • Stay indoors during thundershowers – even if there is only an occasional lightning. Lightning strike may be lethal.
  • If there are any flickering in the lights – call a trained electrician the check the electrical wiring.
  • If you notice any arcs or sparks - call a trained electrician the check the electrical wiring.
  • If you notice any extra ordinary heat emission - call a trained electrician the check the electrical wiring.
  • If you notice any sizzling or buzzing noise - call a trained electrician the check and repair the electrical wiring.
  • If there are frequent tripping or fuse blows occur - call a trained electrician the check and repair the electrical wiring.


  • Be wary and careful – when you are near heavy duty electrical installations, whether you are at work, play or just passing by.
  • While playing – if a kite, ball or any toy gets entangled with electrical lines / junction boxes – do not try to extricate them.
  • Never climb a tree or any structure near power lines – chances of electrocution is high.
  • After a storm or heavy & strong winds - be careful about fallen electrical power lines.
  • While digging earth – for planting or for any other purpose – be careful to not puncture underground electric cables.
  • While using a metal ladder to do work around your house – kindly be careful about the ladder coming to contact with electric power lines – causing electrical shock.
  • While using or handling a metal pole - kindly be careful about the pole coming to contact with power lines – causing electrical shock.
  • While painting the interior or exterior of your house or anywhere - kindly be careful about the paint or the wet paint brush coming to contact with power lines or electrical installations – causing electrical shock.
  • While washing the interior or exterior of your house or anywhere - kindly be careful about the water or the wet mop / brush coming to contact with power lines or electrical installations – causing electrical shock.
  • While cleaning the interior or exterior of your house or anywhere - kindly be careful about yourselves coming to contact with power lines or electrical installations – causing electrical shock.
  • While fixing or removing anything on the interior or exterior of your house or anywhere - kindly be careful about yourselves coming to contact with power lines or electrical installations – causing electrical shock.


  • Water contain salts and minerals – which aid in conduction of electricity. Electricity, kind of hitches a ride on the molecules of water aided by them. So be extremely careful while handling any appliance, gadget, equipment etc which is electrically operated in wet conditions.
  • If your hands tingle - when you put them in water – in your bath or wash area - it may mean that there is electricity leakage – immediately call for an electrician.
  • If your hands tingle - when you put them in water – in your bath or wash area - it may mean that there is electricity leakage – call electrician.
  • Ensure that there are no electrical points – like Switch / Socket / Bulb Holder – near your bath or wash area – such that no water splashes into these electrical points - preventing electricity leakage, thereby avoiding electrical shock.
  • Avoid using Electrical or Electronic gadgets that are connected to electric supply near bath or wash area. For, if water splashes into these gadgets (like – Hair dryer, Electric Shaver, Mixer etc) – there may be electricity leakage – leading to electrical shock.
  • While watering plants on the interior or exterior of your house or anywhere - kindly be careful about the water spray coming to contact with power lines or electrical installations – causing electrical shock.
  • Do not throw or sprinkle / spray water on equipments / machinery even while cleaning them – it could cause a highly dangerous situation.
  • Do not swim or play in a pool during an electrical storm or lightning – even if it is not raining.
  • It is extremely dangerous to pour water on an electrical fire. Think twice and ascertain the source of fire before pouring water on any fire impulsively.
  • Check and repair the cause of wet walls – it may lead to electrical short-circuiting and cause electrical shock.



  • While attempting to replace a faulty or fused bulb – switch off the electrical supply and then do the needful. Wait for it to cool down before trying to replace it. Also check the grip you have on the bulb – a slip may cause the bulb to crack / break or even cause electrocution.
  • While replacing bulbs that are at a height, kindly use sturdy and appropriate step ladder for accessing the bulb. Mostly trying to climb on to rocking chairs, boxes or some flimsy item will cause a fall – injuring you and at times breaking the light fixture, some other fitting in your home or even a bone in your body.
  • Kindly ensure that there is a bulb in place in all holders.
  • While fixing bulbs in holders – ensure that they are firmly secured. For, if they are loosely secured - they may fall off, breaking the bulb. If they are over-tight, then too the bulb may crack and break. You know what a messy situation ensues.
  • While connecting light bulbs – connect them to appropriate holders that can withstand the electrical load. Check the wattage of bulb to be connected.
  • Ensure that halogen lamps are placed away from curtains, furnishings etc to prevent fire accidents due to excessive heating.
  • Inspect light fittings for brown spots – which are actually burnt area – from fire due to overloading, overheating or short-circuiting. Inspect and immediately change, replace or repair the fitting.
  • CFL bulbs – contain mercury – a very harmful substance. Though the quantity is too low – it is good to follow extreme caution while cleaning a broken CFL bulb to prevent mercury ingestion. Open the windows and allow the mercury that may form vapor to escape. It would be safe to also switch off the Air-conditioner and ventilate the room. Also, care has to be taken while disposing such toxic substances. ( refer appropriate information sources to properly dispose )


  • Check the suspension of the ceiling fan to prevent it from falling down.
  • Improper installation may lead to less air circulation.
  • Check the air cutting blades and ensure that they are well balanced.
  • Check the central dome of the ceiling fan once in a while after running it for some time. If there is excessive heat then either the bearings are weak or the electrical windings of the motor are weak. Call for technical help.
  • The bearings of the fan may wear out due to wrong installation or imbalance caused by improper installation.
  • Check the regulator of the ceiling fan for excessive heat. In-case of detecting heating, switch off the fan and call for technical help.
  • If there is clicking or any extra-ordinary noise from the ceiling fan, switch off and call for technical help.

A safe environment also means that it is electrically safe and you must be very cautious and work safely to control and prevent all potential electrical hazards. Following Electrical Safety rules help you control your and others risk of injury or death at workplace from electrical hazards.

If you are working on electrical circuits or with electrical tools and equipment, you need to abide by the following 21 GOLDEN SAFETY RULES:

Rule no. 1

Avoid contact with energized electrical circuits.

Rule no. 2

Treat all electrical devices as if they are live or energized.

Rule no. 3

Disconnect the power source before servicing or repairing electrical equipment.

Rule no. 4

Use only tools and equipment with non-conducting handles when working on electrical devices.

Rule no. 5

Never use metallic pencils or rulers, or wear rings or metal watchbands when working with electrical equipment.

Rule no. 6

When it is necessary to handle equipment that is plugged in, be sure hands are dry and, when possible, wear nonconductive gloves, protective clothes and shoes with insulated soles.

Rule no. 7

If it is safe to do so, work with only one hand, keeping the other hand at your side or in your pocket, away from all conductive material. This precaution reduces the likelihood of accidents that result in current passing through the chest cavity.

Rule no. 8

Minimize the use of electrical equipment in cold rooms or other areas where condensation is likely. If equipment must be used in such areas, mount the equipment on a wall or vertical panel.

Rule no. 9

If water or a chemical is spilled onto equipment, shut off power at the main switch or circuit breaker and unplug the equipment.

Rule no. 10

If an individual comes in contact with a live electrical conductor, do not touch the equipment, cord or person. Disconnect the power source from the circuit breaker or pull out the plug using a leather belt.

Rule no. 11

Equipment producing a “tingle” or a mild electric shock, should be disconnected and reported promptly for repair.

Rule no. 12

Do not rely on grounding (earthing) to mask a defective circuit nor attempt to correct a fault by insertion of another fuse or breaker, particularly one of larger capacity.

Rule no. 13

Drain capacitors before working near them and keep the short circuit on the terminals during the work to prevent electrical shock.

Rule no. 14

Never touch another person’s equipment or electrical control devices unless instructed to do so.

Rule no. 15

Enclose all electric contacts and conductors so that no one can accidentally come into contact with them.

Rule no. 16

Never handle electrical equipment when hands, feet, or body are wet or perspiring, or when standing on a wet floor.

Rule no. 17

When it is necessary to touch electrical equipment (for example, when checking for overheated motors), use the back of the hand. Thus, if accidental shock were to cause muscular contraction, you would not “freeze” to the conductor.

Rule no. 18

Do not store highly flammable liquids near an electrical equipment.

Rule no. 19

Be aware that interlocks on equipment disconnect the high voltage source when a cabinet door is open but power for control circuits may remain on. Take care to read the line diagram and wiring schemes.

Rule no. 20

De-energize open experimental circuits and equipment to be left unattended.

Rule no. 21

Do not wear loose clothing or ties near an electrical equipment.


We have tried our best to provide accurate and easily understandable information for general guidance and tips for electrical safety. We do not claim that the above tips are relevant in all circumstances and also we do not claim that they are exhaustive and we may have left out certain important sections or points. However, take care to kindly refer other sources of information also - if you have any doubts or if you feel that any of the safety tip given herein is irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate. Also consult a professional or an expert in electrical safety before you act based on any of the above safety tips. The implementation of safety tips should always be supervised by a sensible person above 18 years of age. Also read relevant manuals and instructions of all appliances, gadgets, equipments etc before using them. To the extent permissible by law, we will not accept or be liable for taking up any responsibility, which will include claims, compensation for any loss, damage or injury caused to your life or property.

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