Review our safety tips to see how you can prevent electrical hazards in your home or workplace.

Check outlets, cords and plugs for preventable hazards.

Outlets

Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire. Replace any broken wall plates. Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.

Cords

Make sure lamp and appliance 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 and they should not have any furniture resting on them.

Extension Cords

Check to see that extension cords do not get overheated. Additionally, extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not safe as permanent household wiring.

Plugs

Make sure the proper type plug is in each outlet. If you are using three-prong plugs in a room with two-conductor outlets, do not cut off the ground pin (the third/bottom prong) from the plug; this could lead to an electrical shock hazard. A better solution is to use a two-prong adapter.

NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IF IT DOESN’T FIT.

This could lead to fire or shock. Plugs should fit securely into outlets, and outlets should not be overloaded.

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 working properly.

Light Bulbs

Check the wattage of all bulbs in lighting 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/Fuses

Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct sizes for the circuits. If you do not know the correct size fuse, have an electrician identify and label the sizes to be used. Never replace a fuse with anything but another, correct size fuse.

Check outlets, cords and plugs for preventable hazards.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

Don’t place any electrical appliances near water; i.e., a sink or a bathtub. Appliances that are used near water should be unplugged when not in use. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, unplug it and don’t use it until it’s been checked by a qualified repair person.

Appliances

If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse or trips a circuit breaker, or if it has emitted an electric shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.

Entertainment/ Computer Equipment

Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors.