Being aware of common electrical hazards and keeping an eye out for problems could save your home and possessions from serious damage. Check out the sections below for tips to keep your home safe.

Electrical Appliances and Tools

  • Do not use light bulbs with a higher wattage rating than recommended on the fixture.
  • Keep appliances and their power cords away from any water or dampness.
  • Keep electric heaters clear of combustible material such as drapes, bedding, furniture and papers.
  • Unplug any appliance or tool that gives even the slightest shock (i.e., tingling sensation), and have it checked by a qualified electrician or repair person.

Electrical and Extension Cords

  • Regularly check cords for damage. Throw away damaged cords.
  • Unplug extension cords when they’re not in use.
  • Pull the plug — not the cord — when disconnecting from the outlet.
  • Always store cords indoors.
  • Cover unused cord receptacles with childproof covers.
  • For outdoor projects, use only extension cords marked for outdoor use. Never use indoor extension cords outdoors.
  • Do not run extension cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Never tape extension cords to floors or attach them to surfaces with staples or nails.
  • Do not bend or coil cords when they’re in use. Rolling or looping cords into a bundle may cause overheating.
  • Stop using extension cords that feel hot to the touch.
  • Avoid using “octopus plugs,” which allow many cords to be plugged into a single receptacle.
  • Select cords that are rated to handle the wattage of the devices with which they’ll be used.
  • Choose cords with polarized or three-prong plugs.
  • Avoid powering multiple appliances with one cord.
  • Do not plug multiple cords together.