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Electrical safety checklist

Electrical appliance checklist

A few simple checks to determine safety with electrical appliances.

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Electrical safety checklist


Keep your home and family safe

  • Do an electrical safety check in and around your home twice a year.
  • At the beginning of summer and winter, check each room in your home for electrical safety. 
  • Work through the check list below.  Invest 10-20 minutes of your time now.  It may save a life or prevent an accident in the future.
  • Once you have finished your inspection, record the date so you know when your last check was done and what needs to be fixed.
  • Make sure you fix the areas that you have marked with a cross as soon as you can.


Let your "Common Senses" help keep you safe: Look, Listen, Smell for Electrical Hazards.



Sockets and switches

  • Are all sockets, switches and multiboxes working properly with no damaged or broken plugs, sockets, light switches or light fittings?
  • Are all sockets and switches cool to the touch?
  • Do all electric plugs fit snugly into the sockets?
  • Are all multi-boxes placed up high, out of the reach of children?
  • Have you installed safety devices such as RCDs, shuttered sockets and recessed outlets?
  • Have you limited the number of appliances plugged into one outlet, so as not to draw too heavy a load on the circuit?
  • Do you have only one heater per outlet?



  • Are all electric cords in good condition, with no cracking or fraying in the outer cover or any internal wires exposed
  • Are all electric cords clear of rugs and furniture?
  • Are all extension cords used for temporary purposes only? If not, ask an electrician to install a socket-outlet where needed.
  • Are all cords out of the way so they can’t be tripped over, damaged by furniture, or caught in any way?



  • Do you have the correct bulbs in your light fittings and lamps?
  • Are all light fittings around your home in good condition with no damage or exposed wiring, discolouration, funny noises or smells?


Portable electric heaters

  • Do you follow the "heater metre rule" with all heaters at least one metre away from things that can burn?
  • Are all heaters in good working condition with no broken parts, funny noises or smells?
  • Have you recently maintained and cleaned your heater?



Electric blankets

  • Are all electric blankets in good condition with no scorch marks, kinks, exposed or damaged wiring?
  • Are your electric blankets stored flat or rolled in corrugated cardboard when not in use?
  • Have you had your electric blanket tested recently?
  • How old are your electric blankets? (We generally recommend replacing an electric blanket after 2 or 3 years of use).


Read the electric blanket safety page for further information about electric blankets.


Large appliances

  • When moving or repositioning of large heavy appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, care must be taken not to damage the flexible power supply cords.
  • Do you regularly check and clean the lint from your clothes-dryer filter?
  • Do you consistently ensure that the stove-top is kept clear of things that could burn - such as paper towels and plastic cords - keeping them at least one metre away from the elements?


Small appliances

  • Are all small appliances around your home in good condition with no exposed wiring, funny noises or smells?
  • Do all your small appliances operate correctly?
  • Are all small appliances unplugged when not in use?
  • Are all cords to electric appliances stored out of the way so that a child cannot pull them down onto him or herself?


Residual current devices

  • Do you have RCDs installed in the damp areas of your home where you have electrical outlets - such as the bathroom and laundry?
  • Do you test your RCDs regularly, and are they working correctly?
  • Do you use an RCD or an isolating transformer with all electrical equipment outside?
  • See further information about residual current devices on this website.



Fuses and circuit breakers

  • Can you change a fuse correctly?
  • Are all fuse wires the correct size for the circuits on your switchboard?
  • Is it a rare occurrence for a fuse to blow in your home? If this happens regularly have an electrician find the cause.
  • Further information is available on Fuses and Circuit Breakers.



  • Are all power lines well clear of buildings, structures and trees?
  • Are all outside electrical outlets protected by an RCD or an isolating transformer?


Electrical emergency

  • Do you know what to do in an electrical emergency?
  • Have you taught your family to be safe around electricity?
  • Do you have smoke alarms installed in your home?
  • Have you tested your smoke alarms recently? Do you test them regularly?
  • Do you have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in your home?
  • Do all people who live in your home know the safest evacuation route in case of an emergency?
  • Do you have an emergency plan? 


Last updated 11 April 2012
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