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Safety first: Tips to prevent electrical hazards

With air conditioners and ceiling fans powered on, summer is a time of high electricity use.  But amidst all that buzzing and whirring, it might be easy to overlook some electrical safety risks.

Follow these electrical safety tips to keep your home hazard-free:

  • Check outlets for loose plugs that could cause shocks or start fires.  Remember to use safety covers if there are young children or pets in the home.
  • Make sure outlets are not overloaded with too many plugs.
  • Make sure cords of appliances and electronics are not frayed or damaged.
  • Do not place cords under rugs or carpets, resting on furniture, or in areas where people walk often.  Do not nail or staple cords to any walls or objects.
  • Extension cords should be used on a temporary basis only.
  • Make sure light bulbs and appliances match the wattage of the fixture.  Screw light bulbs in securely to prevent overheating.
  • If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or gives you an electrical shock, immediately unplug, repair or replace it.
  • Consider installing a ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI)–a device that shuts off power instantly if there is a problem.  It’s an especially good idea for areas of the home that are wet, like bathrooms and basements.
  • Install and monitor smoke detectors to prevent fires. Also install carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of each bedroom to protect yourself.

Tips are via safeelectricity.org.

No Comments

  1. REPLY
    Sam Hall says

    If you live in an older house, you should make sure your outlets are properly grounded. Sockets used to only have two prongs. There are still a good number of devices that don’t have the third prong, but now that computers, laptops, and other devices are common, it’s hard to get by without that third prong. It’s not uncommon that owners just replaced the two pronged sockets with three pronged ones without properly grounding the third prong which completely defeats the purpose of that update.

  2. REPLY
    Serge Duval says

    I’ve seen some homes with mazes of plugs behind TVs and computers. This is just asking for trouble. There’s a reason why professional offices with multiple computers are organized with slots for chords to run and avoid getting tangled. These are great tips for everyone to know. As mentioned, extension cords are just intended for temporary use. Children should become well acquainted with these rules as well. Thanks for sharing!

  3. REPLY
    Gustave Arnoux says

    I like that the article mentions the fact that there is a lot more electricity running in the summer time because of fans and cooling systems. It’s very important to be extra careful during these months. Some of the safety tips mentioned here are actually not uncommon occurences. I see cords under rugs all the time. Thanks for the sound advice!

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