Electrical Safety

Respect the Power: Prevent Electrical Fire

Electrical failure or malfunction is a leading cause of home fires each year. Knowledge and awareness are the keys to protecting your family from these fires.

 

Common causes of electrical fire

  • Faulty outlets and old wiring
  • Frayed cords and damaged plugs, receptacles or switches
  • Light fixtures and light bulbs
  • Misuse of electric cords by overloading circuits or running cords under rugs or in places where they can become damaged.

Simple safety tips

  • Use surge protectors or power strips with internal overload protection and regularly check to see they are not worn or frayed at the ends.
  • Never force a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Insert plugs fully and don't overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Plug major and small appliances directly into the wall outlet. Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • Buy appliances with a label from a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Use light bulbs that match or are less than the recommended wattage on the lamp or light fixture. Compare lumens--CFLs or LEDs give you the same or more light for less wattage.
  • Replace electric tools or appliances if they overheat, short out or spark. Don't try to repair damaged electrical cords yourself.
  • Call a qualified electrician when:
    • Your home's fuses blow or circuit breaker trips repeatedly
    • Electric appliances cause a shock when touched or you notice a burning smell when they're plugged in
    • Wall outlets are warm to the touch
    • Wall outlets are discolored
    • Lights flicker often
    • You see sparks from a wall outlet or have cracked or broken outlets

Resources