Electrical Safety Basics
- Use outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters in bathrooms, garages, near kitchen sinks, and outdoors. These devices prevent serious shock. They can be added as temporary adapters if necessary.
- Keep appliances away from bathtubs, puddles, sinks, and wet hands. Always unplug an appliance before cleaning. Even if turned off, it can shock
- Never overload an outlet with multiple appliances.
- If small children are present, put safety covers on all electrical outlets within their reach.
- Pull on the plug head, never on the cord.
- Never carry an appliance by its cord.
- Don’t run cords under rugs or furniture. They could overheat or become damaged.
Electrical Fire Prevention
- Keep anything that will burn away from light bulbs, portable heaters, or toasters
- Turn off heating and cooking appliances before leaving home.
- Never overload outlets.
- If you must temporarily use an extension cord, make sure the watts listed on the cord are higher than the watts listed on the appliance.
How Fires Start
Most electrical fires result from overheated circuits or overloaded equipment. When abused or overloaded, insulation may melt or burn exposing live wires. Electrical fires can also occur when equipment is driven beyond capacity, or accumulated oil and dirt overheat a motor, or sparks ignite scraps, dirt, dust, or flammable liquid.
- Do fuses blow or circuit breakers trip often?
- Do toasters or irons not get as hot as they should?
- Does your TV picture shrink when appliances go on?
- Do you use extension cords because there aren’t enough outlets?
If you answered yes to any question in this list, check with a qualified repairman.
In Case of Fire
- Unplug the equipment or interrupt power at the main switch.
- Tell the fire department it’s an electrical fire.
- If it’s small use a multipurpose fire extinguisher on it.
- Never use water on an electrical fire.
- Always use three prong plugs. The third prong connects to a ground wire which should allow electricity to flow to the ground and not through you in the event of a short circuit.
- Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters whenever possible. The outlets have the test and reset buttons. They monitor the flow of current to and from appliances. The GFCI can quickly cut power and prevent serious injury. These are required in new homes near kitchen sinks, bathrooms, outdoors, and some basement outlets.
- Outdoor outlets should have whether proof covers.
- Never use an appliance that has a frayed cord.
- Always be aware of power line locations. Common risks are: using a ladder, pruning trees, installing an antenna, carrying long tools or pipes. Also, keep kites and tall boats or farm equipment away from power lines.
- Never touch or try to move a downed power line.