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Electrical safety

Electrical safety

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

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