10 Electrical Safety Tips for Your Home

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Each year, fire departments across the US respond to nearly 50,000 home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction. Protect your home and family from burns, shocks, and fires by following these tips:

  1. Regularly check electric cords for wear and tear. Replace worn or frayed cords as damaged cords can cause shock, short circuit, or even start a fire
  2. Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time and never “piggyback” extra appliances on extension cords or wall outlets
  3. Limit use of extension cords and plug them out when not in use. Make sure it is properly rated for its intended use and that meets the power needs of the appliance being use
  4. Never unplug or carry anything by its cord. Unplug the cord from the wall socket by pulling the plastic housing
  5. Only use appliances approved by recognized testing labs such as Underwriters Laboratories; check the label for logo
  6. Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under furniture or carpets; the cords can overheat and/or become frayed
  7. Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas where electrical circuits can come in contact with water such as in kitchens, bath and laundry rooms, garages, and outdoors
  8. Place lamps on level surfaces away from things that can burn and only use light bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage. Always unplug lamps before replacing the bulbs
  9. Always unplug appliances when they are not in use and before cleaning or repairing them
  10. Keep electrical cords away from children’s reach and teach them never to stick toy or fingers into electric outlets. Use plug covers or inserts in all your outlets when they are not in use

Remember that an appliance is connected to electricity until it is unplugged – even if you turn it off.

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