A look at the dangers of dealing with electrics at home


Almost every home uses electric, with appliances such as ovens, microwaves, kettles, hairdryers, washing machines and lawnmowers common across many households. While it’s not unusual for problems to arise in domestic wiring or within appliances themselves, it can be extremely dangerous to try and fix the issue yourself, without consulting a registered electrician.

According to recent statistics, approximately 400 people are electrocuted in the home annually, with about 200 suffering fatal injuries. Around 10% of those electrocuted at home are done so via a large appliance. Fires can also occur due to broken electrical equipment, resulting in further hazards.

Electrical work should always be carried out by a qualified professional as mistakes can cause faulty equipment and safety hazards, which can be particularly dangerous for children.

Common electrical mistakes

Some common mistakes people make when carrying out their own electrical work in the home include:

  • Installing poor or incorrect wiring: domestic wiring should be fit for purpose and undamaged. Old wiring should be replaced to help avoid issues such as power surges.
  • Electrical components fitted near water: this can increase the risk of electric shocks so care must be taken to avoid wet areas when installing electrics.
  • Covering wiring: it’s important that cords don’t overheat as this can increase the risk of fires. Wiring should not be covered up or placed near other items that create heat.
  • Extension leads: although these are not generally considered risky, it’s vital to make sure they’re not overloaded or left anywhere that could create a trip hazard.
  • Loose connections: in some circumstances, loose connections can result in arching and create a fire hazard.
  • Failing to use junction boxes: electrical connections must be protected and this is usually done via a junction box. If connect between wires occurs, this can create a dangerous spark hazard.

While the risks from standard domestic appliances are fairly low, it’s important to choose items fitted with thermocouples to promote safety and enable correct functioning. These temperature sensors reduce the risk of overheating and electrocution.

Hiring an electrician

While hiring a professional will cost you, it’s crucial to have any electrical work carried out by someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

Exact costs will vary and will depend on various factors including:

  • The job that needs to be carried out and its complexity
  • The size of your home and location
  • The exact qualifications of the electrician

It can be tempting to skip the cost and attempt to do the work yourself, but, whenever electrics are involved, it’s always safer (and more cost-effective in the long-term) to call in a professional.