Electrical cables and cords.
We all know how vital they are in our daily lives. Much like our blood vessels that transport blood from the heart throughout our body, cables and cords distribute the electricity from a power source to our computer networks, entertainment systems, home lights — virtually all electronics we use.
The comparison may be a bit extreme and even weird — but you get the point.
Useful as they are, if not properly managed, electrical cables can become a pretty ugly headache. How so, you ask? Read on and find out.
Cables: An Unexpected Danger.
With all the electronics we use at home and in the office today, cables and cords can easily add up. Usually, these cords end up in a tangled mess that clutters up space.
But more than being unsightly, improperly maintained cables and cords can pose a safety hazard.
If you haven’t slipped or fell on loose wires lying on the floor, good for you! Just imagine the stress of ruining an expensive piece of equipment you bought with your hard-earned money after tripping over the cable. Or, the hassle of dealing with an injury after falling down.
And if you have children — especially small ones — at home, you definitely should rein in those cables and get them back in control. You need to take extra precaution, because those excess cords can loop around children’s legs or feet, causing them to stumble — or, worse, pull electronics down on them.
The risk of getting an electric shock from worn cables is also a real concern. A 2018 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2016, electrical injury involving exposure to an electric current was the reason for 1,065 hospital cases. From this total, an astounding 73% involved contact with cords and switches or electric current from appliances.
Electrical fires caused by faulty cables are another mortal peril. According to data obtained by Allianz, more than 11,000 residential fires occur in Australia every year. The Country Fire Authority says electrical distribution equipment that includes power supply, power boards and extension leads are among the common culprits behind house fires.
Indeed, it’s high time you learn how to manage those mess of cables. And believe it or not, it’s easy once you know a couple of cable management tricks!
Cable Tidy Solutions: 9 Easy-to-do Tips.
Here are our top tips for managing cables and cords effectively. Follow these steps and be well on your way to decluttering your space and improving your safety.
1. Go wireless (where you can).
Opting for wireless electronics and gadgets is one of the simplest solutions for your cable conundrum.
If you have budget to spare, you may want to transform your home office into a cable-free setup by using a wireless keyboard, mouse and printer. In your kitchen, you may want to use a French press instead of a regular coffee maker. For your sound system, how about going with wireless speakers and headphones?
For your mobile phones, you may want to give wireless charging docks a chance. Yes, wireless chargers still take longer than their wired counterparts to power your device. However, they can provide power to not just one, but multiple devices. This means, you’ll reduce the amount of cables and power adapters you need to have.
2. Conceal your power boards.
Power boards – also called power strips or extension blocks – enable us to use multiple appliances at the same time. Because we plug a lot of devices onto them, power boards are prone to having a bunch of cords around them.
To keep the cables and cords off the floor and out of the view, consider mounting your power boards underneath your desk or on the wall. You may also use cable management boxes or power cord organisers, where you can put inside the power board and the cables plugged onto it.
Speaking of power boards, keep in mind that they are meant as only a temporary solution, not a permanent fixture. They wear out over time and can easily overload with too many devices. Poorly maintained and improperly used power boards can lead to a potentially fatal disaster: fire.
3. Add power points.
If you find yourself relying more and more on power boards, stop yourself – doing so may prevent significant property damage or even death! Instead, consider hiring a licensed hiring a licensed electrical contractor to install additional power outlets in your home. If you need help finding one, it’s super easy to find a qualified and experienced electrician on LinkU!
And remember, where there are power boards, a number of cords are most likely around too. So if you’re serious in reducing the cable mess in your home, you may want to start by managing your use of power boards.
4. Tuck them under the table.
Although not completely hidden, under-desk cable racks and trays can be a great alternative for your cable organisation. You can simply place there all the cables connected to your desk gadgets and easily access them. But if you hate tangled cords, you may want to take some time to separate and clear a path for each cable in the rack.
5. Charge up.
A centralised charging station can be useful for organising all of your gadgets in one place while powering them up. After setting one up, you’ll notice right away how much unnecessary cord clutter you have eliminated. For your charging station, you can use charging cable holders and adhesive cable clips to put your cords in place. You may also want to spend some extra money to buy a nice charging dock to further cut down on cords.
6. Be clear on labels.
Labelling your cables will help you spot easily the gadgets to which they are connected. You’ll find the labels particularly useful when you need to troubleshoot technical problems with your devices, and also help any tradesperson who will carry out electrical works in your home.
7. KISS: Keep it short… and streamlined.
Tools where you can wrap around long cords can do wonders for your cable management endeavours. On that note, try looking for mounted dock cleats that you can install onto your desks or walls. Cable and cord winders can also do the trick.
8. Run them through ducts and raceways.
Raceways, wiring ducts, and covers are a favourite among the available cable management solutions today. They are especially good for hiding thick cables and messy cords.
Cable raceways, ducts, and covers come in different shapes, sizes, and designs. A number of them can work with furniture and tables. Others can be used for running cables over the floor. Some types can be installed on the walls and ceilings like a crown moulding. The best part is, they’re very easy to use and can be installed without power tools. Simply stick them into place and voila! You can easily remove and add cables into your raceways or ducts over time.
9. Check, check, and check again.
As long as we have electricity running through our homes, the possibility of having safety mishaps is ever present. So when it comes to our electrical systems, we can never be too careful. And a great way to maintain our home’s electrical safety is to conduct thorough, regular inspections.
Always remember to inspect all cables and wiring for signs of damage, degradation, or overheating. If you see any cracked, loose, or frayed cords, replace them immediately.
Inspect switches and outlets as well. Make sure to turn off power boards when not in use – you’ll help in not only preventing fire, but also saving electricity! Be on the lookout for those that are warm to the touch, showing discolorations, or making buzzing sounds. Consult with a licensed electrician or schedule a home electrical inspection immediately to get to the root of the matter.
Home Safety is Bliss.
Cable management has no one-size-fits-all approach. We all have our own opinion on what exactly makes for an “organised” and “safe” environment. What’s important is to be open to trying out various ways in managing cables. Eventually, you’ll find the one that suits you.
On the other hand, keep in mind that handling electricity is one of those things that you should leave to the professionals. That’s why, if you notice any electrical issues, call your trusted licensed electrical worker right away. Or post a job here on LinkU – we’d be happy to connect you with the most skilled and reputable service providers in your area.
Until the time comes when electricity gets transmitted from a power source to our electronics through the air, cables will remain fundamentally present in our daily lives. For now, all we can do is manage cables the best way we can. You’ll soon see: the impact of cable management goes well beyond cosmetic and is worth all the effort.
Have other cable management solutions you would like to suggest? Share with us in the comments below!