Home Safety Tips
Use this residential safety checklist for nine quick checks you can make in your home to help make it more electrically safe:
- Cords - Make sure 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 other objects and should not have any furniture resting on them.
- Plugs - Make sure the proper type plug is in each outlet. If you are using three-prong plugs in a room with two-prong 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.
- 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.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) - GFCIs should be used in any area where water and electricity may come into contact. Test GFCIs regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Light Bulbs - Check the wattage of all bulbs in lighting fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the fixture. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended; if you don't know the correct wattage, check the manufacturer of the fixture. Make sure the bulbs are screwed in securely - loose bulbs may overheat.
- Circuit Breakers/Fuses - Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct size for the circuits. If you don't know the correct size fuse, have an electrician identify and label the sizes to be used. Never replace a fuse with any thing but the correct size fuse.
- Water and Electricity Don't Mix - Don't place any electrical appliance near water such as a sink or 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 has been checked by a qualified repair person.
- Entertainment/Computer Equipment - Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damaged in wiring, plugs cords and connectors.