Electric Safety Tips
Keep all cords out of traffic areas. Check the cords to make sure
they are in good condition—not frayed or cracked. Never nail or
staple cords to the wall or other objects. Do not place cords under
carpets or rugs.
- Extension Cords
Make sure cords are not overloaded. Only use extension cords
temporarily; they are not intended as permanent wiring. Extension
cords should have safety closures to help prevent young children from
mouth burn injuries or shock hazards.
Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat
and lead to fire. Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets
that are accessible to children.
Make sure your plugs fit your outlets - NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN
OUTLET IF IT DOESN'T FIT. Never remove the ground pin (the
third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet.
Do not overload outlets with too many appliances.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. They should be used in any
area where water and electricity may come into contact. When a GFCI
senses current leakage in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground
fault has occurred. The power is quickly interrupted to help prevent
serious injury from electrical shock.
- Water and Electricity Don't Mix
Don't leave plugged-in appliances where they might fall in contact
with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to
pull it out—even if it's turned off. First turn off the power source at
the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance
that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a
qualified repair person.
- Light Bulbs
Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat.
Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended.
- Circuit Breakers/Fuses
Be sure to use the correct size current rating their circuit for your
circuit breakers and fuses. If you do not know the correct size,
have an electrician identify and label the size to be used. Always
replace a fuse with the same size fuse. Never use a penny in a fuse
- Space Heaters
Keep space heaters at least 3 ft. away from any combustible materials
such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture and rugs. Don't use in
rooms where children are unsupervised and remember to turn off and unplug
when not in use. Do not use space heaters with extension cords; plug
directly into an outlet on a relatively unburdened circuit.
If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or
if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
- Entertainment/Computer Equipment
Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working
properly. Look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors. Use
a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized
- Outdoor Safety
Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the
rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions. Inspect power tools and electric
lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs and
cracked or broken housings. If damaged, stop using it immediately. Repair
it or replace it. Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and
rated for the power needs of your tools. Remember to unplug all portable
power tools when not in use. When using ladders, watch out for overhead
wires and power lines.
During an electrical storm, do not use appliances (i.e., hairdryers,
toasters and radios) or telephones (except in an emergency); do not take
a bath or shower; keep batteries on hand for flashlights and radios in
case of a power outage; and use surge protectors on electronic devices,
appliances, phones, fax machines and modems.
- Halogen Floor Lamps
Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a
standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where
it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible
materials. Consider using cooler fluorescent floor lamps.
Electrical Safety Foundation International
Helpful Hints on Home Electricity from Leviton Institute