electricityWhen originally installed a wiring system is suitably designed for its intended purpose and each circuit is safeguard against the effects of overload, short-circuits and fault currents by protective devices of the correct current rating and breaking capacity.

In this regard the wiring regulations are explicit that every circuit shall be so designed that a small overload of long duration is unlikely to occur.

Tampering with the protective device by connecting the incorrect current rating causes circuit faults which can harm you or your property.

In order to reduce the danger of hazardous situations and to safeguard yourself and family from electric shock the following advice should be steadfastly adhered to:

1. A repeatedly blowing fuse or tripping MCB is a sign that there is something wrong with that particular circuit. Such a fault should be isolated until a qualified electrician takes remedial action.

2. Never bridge-out MCB’s or 13A fuses by using silver paper or tin foil, it is extremely dangerous. All such devices are there for protection of the wiring, your property and ultimately yourself.

3. Never ignore the warning signs. If a plug-top feels excessively hot or if the socket-outlet is discoloured then the appliance being used is too large for the socket or there are loose connections.

4. Never take portable electrical equipment into a bathroom.

5. Never cover flexible cables and cords under carpets. The conductor temperature does not dissipate as it should, overheating occurs and a conflagration can result.

6. Keep flexible cables and cords as short as possible and well maintained. Do not use taped joints rather buy a new lead as this could save money in the long run.

7. Where the flex enters the plug-top ensure that the sheath is properly and securely clamped, inner cores should not be showing, and ensure that the right coloured core terminates in its correct terminal i.e.

Brown-‘L’ (LIVE)

Blue-‘N’ (NEUTRAL)

Green/Yellow-‘E’ (EARTH)

8. It is recommended to purchase appliances that bear a standard mark or number that has been approved by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ). Have foreign standards verified by SAZ.

9. Unless double insulated all appliances will need to be effectively connected to earth either permanently or by a flexible cord/cable. If you are not sure that this is the case, consult a competent Electrician.

10. The earthling system at your premises is of paramount importance and to ensure that it remains completely reliable it should be inspected by you at regular intervals particularly if a plumbing repair job has been carried out. All pipe work and exposed metal work should be bonded to the installation’s earth electrode. A maximum earth resistance of ohms is recommended.

Stay safe. Stay away. Stay alive.