On any given day, it's likely that most people use several different electrical appliances. With electric appliances being so common in modern homes, it's easy to forget that there are very real risks and hazards associated with their use. Take the time to brush up on the principles of safe operation - and make sure that everyone in your home is aware of them - in order prevent unnecessary exposure to hazards and safety risks.
Electrical Safety Tips Anyone Can Follow
Being safe when using electrical appliances. extension cords, light bulbs and other equipment is easy, and safety tips should be included in household rules, homeschool fire safety and daily behavior expectations for all members of the family. It only takes one mistake to spark an electrical fire, but simple prevention measures can be effective solutions.
Appliances are an integral part of every household, from a simple electric clock to the microwave oven. These safety tips can help keep all appliances operating safely:
- According to CenterPoint Energy. it's essential to ensure that any appliances you purchase are approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or another reputable consumer laboratory.
- Unplug unused appliances and stow cords safely out of reach of pets, young children or hazardous situations.
Every electrical appliance has a cord, and many homes use extension cords to increase the range of electrical outlets. These safety tips can help keep cords in good condition for safe operation:
- Check cords regularly for frays, cracks or kinks, including power tool cords, holiday lights and extension cords. The Canadian Center for Occupational Safety suggests doing this before each use.
Cords are not jump ropes, clothes lines or leashes, and should never be used for anything other than their intended purpose.
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Every cord has to plug into an appropriate electrical outlet, but these tempting niches are inviting to unwelcome objects that can cause shorts and fires. Use these electrical safety tips at home to keep outlets safe:
- Block unused outlets by changing to a solid cover plate or using childproof caps per Consumer Product Safety Commission recommendations.
- Do not overload outlets with multiple adaptors or power strips; relocate cords instead.
- Never put any object other than the appropriate size plug into an outlet.
- Install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in potentially hazardous areas such as near pools, crawl spaces, kitchens, bathrooms and unfinished basements.
- Keep all outlets properly covered with secure plates that cover all wiring.
Light BulbsUse bulbs that have the correct wattage requirements for each fixture. Using a higher wattage bulb can cause the fixture to overheat.
It is important to also practice electrical safety when outside, since many electrical hazards can be found near homes and not just inside their walls. The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides a number of recommendations for outdoor electricity safety.Keep trees pruned and away from power lines overhead as well as where the power lines approach the house.
Electrical Fire Safety Tips