Electrical energy use plays an important role in our day-to-day lives. It is good home-owner practice to conduct an annual electrical home inspection to make sure homes are safe from electrical hazards. By doing this you may prevent electrical related injuries, property damage or death.
Follow these electrical safety tips and reminders to keep your home safe. Remember to discuss these important electrical safety reminders with young adults that are moving away from home, out on their own for the first time.
Important Tips to Remember:
- Don't overload extension cords, power strips or electrical outlets. By doing so they can overheat, deteriorate quickly and cause a fire or shock hazard.
- Extension cords are meant for short-term use and shouldn't be used to plug more items into a single outlet.
- If a power strip is used, use one that will shut off power automatically if there is too much current.
- Check appliance power cords and extension cords. If a cord is frayed, cracked or cut, replace the cord or safely dispose of the item. Do not try to patch it with electrical tape.
- Keep cords out of walkways. Do not cover cords with carpeting or rugs. The cords could overheat.
- Don't ignore warning signs; switches and outlets that don't work, flickering lights, blown fuses or sparks.
- Remember that water and electricity don't mix. Do not use appliances such as hair dryers or radios in or near sinks, showers or bathtubs.
- All outdoor sockets, garages, crawlspaces and basements should be wired to ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
- Have GFCIs installed in wet areas of the home, including kitchen, laundry and bath rooms.
- Never step into a flooded area - especially basements - if water is in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords.
- Never reach into water for a plugged-in appliance. Unplug it first.
- Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from pools, hot tubs or other wet surfaces.
- Never force a plug into an outlet. Plugs should fit securely into outlets, but not require force to remove them.
- Never remove the ground pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit into a two-prong outlet. This could lead to electrical shock.
- Make sure appliances are "off" before attempting to plug in or unplug power cords.
- To reduce fire hazards, keep toasters, microwave ovens, hotplates, coffee makers, irons and other heat-producing appliances away from bedding, books, draperies, clothing and other flammable items.