Electric Safety Tips

It's easy to practice electrical safety. Remember that electricity always takes the shortest way to the ground. It will go through wire, metal, wet objects...or you. It's invisible, but very real, so treat it with respect.

Wires run around, through and over our houses. And each year hundreds are electrocuted in their homes, and thousands are injured in electricity-related accidents. These accidents can be prevented with a little foresight, and some common sense.

Indoor Safety Tips

  • Don't overload electrical outlets. If your TV picture shrinks or flickers when major appliances are turned on, or if fuses or circuit breakers blow frequently, you should have your circuits and wiring checked.
  • Keep all radios, hair dryers and other appliances secured or out of bathrooms. Appliances like hair dryers should never be used near water-filled tubs and sinks. Teach your kids that electricity and water don’t mix.
  • Keep electrical cords away from the reach of children.
  • Never unplug or carry anything by its cord. And don't run cords under carpets or furniture; the cords can overheat and or become frayed.
  • Teach your kids not to poke things into electrical outlets, toasters, or any other appliances, whether they're on or off. Use plug covers or inserts in all your outlets.
  • Unplug appliances before you clean them and when they are not in use. Push small appliances to the back of your counters. And make sure you use all three prongs of your electric plugs, and replace worn or frayed cords immediately. Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn't fit, and never nail or tack cords to walls or floors.
  • Use only appliances and equipment approved by Underwriters Laboratories (look for the UL listing on the label), or other recognized testing laboratories.

Outdoor Safety Tips

  • Keep all ladders and other tools in the Safe Zone, at least 10 feet from any power lines. Put it up only where you have to work. Always make sure that, if the ladder fell, it would not contact any power lines or other electrical equipment. This rule also applies to television and radio antennas as well. They should be far enough away so that if they were blown over, they would not fall into overhead lines.
  • Outdoor outlets should be on a circuit protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which are required in newer homes in bathrooms, garages, outdoors, and near sinks. GFCIs can be added as a temporary plug-in adapter, added as a replacement outlet, or even installed as a circuit breaker. Check with your electrician for options.
  • Teach your kids never to fly kites near power lines or around electrical substations. Balls or other objects tossed or falling into an electrical substation should be left there. Teach your kids not to climb or play in trees if there are power lines nearby or lines touching or growing through the branches. Kids should also know that pad-mounted transformers (those green metal cabinets around your neighborhood) are not safe places to play.