Make sure that your home is electrically safe by checking the items
on this list created by the National Electrical Safety Foundation.
Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat
and lead to fire. Replace any broken or missing wall plates. Make
sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible
Make sure cords are in good condition- not frayed or cracked. Make
sure they are placed out of traffic areas. Cords should never be
nailed or stapled to the wall, baseboard, or to another object.
Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on
Check to see that cords are not overloaded. Additionally, extension
cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intended
as permanent household wiring. Make sure extension cords have safety
closures to help prevent young children from shock hazards and mouth
Make sure your plugs fit your outlets. Never remove the ground pin
(the third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet;
this could lead to an electrical shock. NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO
AN OUTLET IF IT DOESN'T FIT. Plugs should fit securely into outlets.
Avoid overloading 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. It then interrupts power fast enough to help
prevent serious injury from electrical shock. Test GFCIs regularly
according to the manufacturer's instructions to make sure they are
Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they
are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture. Replace bulbs
that have higher wattage than recommended; if you don't know the
correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture. Make
sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat.
Circuit Breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating
for their circuit. 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.
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.
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
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
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. Since
metal ladders conduct electricity, 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 and appliances.
Space Heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat. 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.
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. Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room
for an extended period of time and never use torchiere lamps in
children's bedrooms or playrooms.