Electric Wiring and Outlet Safety
- Be familiar with fuses and breakers for the circuits in your home. If an electrical device blows a fuse, trips a breaker, releases sparks, sounds or smells like it’s burning, disconnect it immediately. Dispose of the appliance or have it repaired. If you are unsure about any equipment, contact a certified electrician.
- Look for the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL®) mark on all electric products you use. This indicates the product has met strict electrical standards.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) should be installed anywhere water is present, including bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, or where easy ground contact can be made, like in garages, basements, and outdoor areas. If you do not have GFCIs installed in these areas, contact a certified electrician.
- Make sure that plugs fit nicely into outlets. Loose-fitting plugs or plugs that do not fit may overheat and cause a fire.
- Do not allow any electrical wiring to be exposed - be sure that all switch and outlet covers fit over the wires.
- Place safety covers in outlets that are not being used and keep cords tucked away so that children do not play with them.
- Refrain from using “cheater plugs,” devices that convert a two-pronged outlet into a three-prong outlet.
- Do not overload any electrical supply, such as an extension cord, power strip or outlet. When cords overheat, they can deteriorate and cause possible shock or fire.
- Do not place devices or their cords near hot surfaces, like stoves or fireplaces.
- When not in use, unplug all non-essential electrical appliances. You not only reduce a safety risk, but you will also save energy and money in the long run!
- Keep lamps at a distance from drapes, curtains, furniture or any flammable item.
- If you have an older home and have not updated your electrical wiring, you may want to have a certified electrician review your home wiring. Today’s electronics and appliances can easily overload an older wiring system.
- Keep appliances clean and well-maintained. A buildup of dust, trash or spider webs is an invitation for fire to start in the electrical system.
- Unplug any appliance before working on it.
- Replace worn or damaged cords.
- Keep electric appliances away from water.
- Do not touch any electrical appliance if you are standing in water.
- Unplug irons before leaving them unattended.
- Do not place anything on top of an appliance that uses its own cooling system (TV, computer, DVD player, game console). This can cause overheating of the appliance. It could even cause a fire.
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