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Safety first: Tips to prevent electrical hazards

With air conditioners and ceiling fans powered on, summer is a time of high electricity use.  But amidst all that buzzing and whirring, it might be easy to overlook some electrical safety risks.

Follow these electrical safety tips to keep your home hazard-free:

  • Check outlets for loose plugs that could cause shocks or start fires.  Remember to use safety covers if there are young children or pets in the home.
  • Make sure outlets are not overloaded with too many plugs.
  • Make sure cords of appliances and electronics are not frayed or damaged.
  • Do not place cords under rugs or carpets, resting on furniture, or in areas where people walk often.  Do not nail or staple cords to any walls or objects.
  • Extension cords should be used on a temporary basis only.
  • Make sure light bulbs and appliances match the wattage of the fixture.  Screw light bulbs in securely to prevent overheating.
  • If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or gives you an electrical shock, immediately unplug, repair or replace it.
  • Consider installing a ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI)–a device that shuts off power instantly if there is a problem.  It’s an especially good idea for areas of the home that are wet, like bathrooms and basements.
  • Install and monitor smoke detectors to prevent fires. Also install carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of each bedroom to protect yourself.

Tips are via safeelectricity.org.