In your home, especially if young children are present:
- Place covers on all electrical outlets.
- Unplug all electrical items within a child’s reach.
- Do not allow toys that must be plugged into an outlet.
- Teach your children to never touch electrical outlets or play with electrical cords.
In your home, for everyone’s safety:
- Use extreme caution when using electrical appliances near water.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Replace electrical items that show signs of wear, such as frayed wires.
- Keep your clothes dryer free of lint accumulation to avoid it becoming a fire hazard.
- If you are in or standing in water, do not touch anything electrical.
- Do not use extension cords to plug in appliances.
- Plug items in appropriately (do not force a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet.
- Use certified surge protectors and power strips.
- Keep clothes, curtains and other flammable items away from heat sources.
- Use correct wattage light bulbs.
And outside, remember to:
- Come indoors and remain there during an electrical storm (one with lightning strikes).
- Never play near electrical wires.
- Stay away from areas marked DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE.
- Never climb utility poles, transmission towers, etc.
- Do not climb trees that are near power lines.
- Do not throw anything at utility poles or wires.
- Only fly kites in dry weather and in open spaces. If your kite does get caught in an electrical wire, call the electric company for help.
Contact a qualified electrician:
- If you have recurring instances of blown fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
- If you experience a tingling feeling when touching an electrical tool or appliance.
- If your outlets or switches are warm or discolored.
- If there is a burning or rubber-like smell coming from an appliance.
- If you have flickering lights.
- If there are sparks coming from an outlet.
- If wall outlets are cracked or broken.
(Information from the U.S. Fire Administration, WebMD, NSTAR and Uptodate.com was used in this report)
Tip sheet: Be Safe Around Electricity