Safety experts have issued a warning over the 'hidden' risks Brits need to be aware of when it comes to their lightbulbs, chargers and other household electronics. 

Electricity and our devices have become integral to our daily lives so much so that it's hard to imagine what we would do without them.

From light in our living rooms and fresh food in the fridge to an entire digital world at our fingertips on the internet, it's given us no shortage of gifts.

However, with extensive use, our electrical items also bring with them their own set of hazards - which often stem from some common mistakes that we make at home. 

With this in mind, safety officer, Gary Johnstone from Pleavin Power has issued a home electrical safety warning to Brits.

Mr Johnstone has looked into some of the potential risks presented by our electronics and even outlined some everyday popular scenarios that could lead to damage or harm.

What happens if I overload an outlet?

Overloading an outlet is like putting too much pressure on a single point, It can heat up and potentially start a fire, according to the Pleavin Power expert.

This often happens when a person plugs multiple high-energy appliances into one outlet or power strip in the kitchen or entertainment centre.

Why is a circuit breaker tripping?

A tripping breaker is a cry for help from your electrical system and is a warning sign that you shouldn't ignore, according to Mr Johnstone.

He urged households not to repeatedly reset the breaker without checking for issues like circuit overload or faulty appliances.

Is it okay to use damaged cords?

No, using an appliance with a damaged cord is a direct invitation to electrical accidents, the expert advises.

One common scenario where this happens is when you continue to use a phone charger when its wire is frayed.

Does lightbulb wattage matter?

Dr Johnstone says that mismatched bulbs can overheat fixtures which presents a risk of fire. 

For instance, there's a risk presented when you install a 100-watt bulb in a lamp which is designed for 60 watts in the living room.

Are there risks to doing DIY Electrical Work?

Electrical systems are complex and mistakes can be fatal, the expert warns.

You should not attempt to install a new ceiling fan or outlet without proper knowledge or tools for example.

What happens when you mix water and electricity?

GFCI outlets in wet areas are a must to prevent electrocution, according to Dr Johnstone.

One common scenario, when there's a risk, is when you use a hair dryer or electric shaver near a filled sink or in a wet bathroom.

You can read more about why water and electricity present such a risk, via the Winn Services website.

Why shouldn't you block air vents?

The expert advises that good ventilation prevents overheating of electrical appliances.

An example of this is when you push a refrigerator too close to the wall and it blocks its air vents.

Are Extension Cords safe to be left plugged in?

Dr Johnstone urged that extension cords should be treated as a temporary solution whilst explaining that long-term use of them can lead to wear and potential hazards.

He warns against using an extension cord for the living room TV and game console permanently.

The Hidden Dangers of Old Wiring

"Old wiring is not just inefficient; it's a lurking hazard," the pro explained.

One common scenario of the hidden dangers of old wires is when you live in a heritage home with outdated electrical systems and ignore the signs of wear.

How to safely charge my devices?

"Responsible charging habits are essential to prevent overheating," Dr Johnstone commented.

Charging smartphones and laptops on beds or couches overnight presents a risk, according to the expert.

What to do if your electrical outlet is loose?

"Loose outlets can lead to arcing and overheating," Johnstone explained.

For example, when using a wobbly plug in the outlet for a table lamp.

When this happens, you should tighten the screws on the outlet.

Angi has created a step-by-step guide which will help you with this process.

Recommended reading

Safety officer at Pleavin Power, Gary Johnson, concluded "Understanding and avoiding these common electrical mistakes can significantly reduce the risk of accidents in our homes.

"Regular inspections, mindfulness in everyday use, and calling in experts when in doubt are key practices for maintaining a safe and secure home environment.

"Remember, when it comes to electricity, caution and knowledge are your best allies.