Electrical safety precautions should be a routine part of home maintenance.
- Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
- Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
- Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Don’t allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons and hair dryers.
- Keep all potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.
- If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never cut off the ground or force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
- Check your electrical appliances regularly for signs of wear. If the cords are frayed or cracked, replace them. Replace any appliance if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out or gives off smoke or sparks.
- Look for telltale signs of electrical problems such as dimming of lights, frequent circuit breaker trips or blown fuses.
- Make sure smoke alarms are installed on every floor outside sleeping areas and in every bedroom, and are in good working order.
- Limit the use of extension cords, (particularly cords used to power room air conditioners). Do not use extension cords as permanent wiring, they are not rated for this use
- Use light bulbs that are the proper wattage for the fixture – higher wattage bulbs can degrade the wires in and around the fixture.
TIP: As a safety measure it is prudent to ensure that all installed light bulbs are the correct type and wattage as per the fixture manufacturers’ instructions. Inspectors do not remove bulbs to verify wattage and type during home inspections.