Outlets & Extension Cords
- Never overload outlets or extension cords due to the potential of electrical fires.
- Don’t run extension cords under rugs or flooring.
- Always keep water away and out of outlets and extension cords. If water gets inside an outlet or extension cord, electrical sparking or shock could happen.
- If you are unplugging an extension cord or other cord from an outlet, be slow and gentle. Never forcefully pull the cord out of the outlet. Instead, grab the base of the plug and pull slowly. Aggressive pulling and yanking can lead to broken wires, bent plugs, or damage to the outlet.
- If you must use an extension cord temporarily, match amperage or wattage limits marked on the cord and appliance to avoid a fire hazard.
- Remember the most important rule for home appliances: electricity and water don’t mix! Keep appliances, especially hair dryers, away from bathtubs, puddles, sinks, wet floors and wet hands.
Turn off heating and cooking appliances before leaving home.
- Unplug an appliance before cleaning it. Even if the appliance is off, it can shock, and wet skin decreases your resistance to electricity significantly.
- If something seems wrong with an appliance or tool, or it gives even the slightest shock, disconnect it. Have it repaired or discard it.
- Never put metal objects in live parts of appliances or in outlets.
- If an appliance overheats, unplug it and have it checked.
- Dust and lint behind or under refrigerators can build up and become a fire hazard, especially near damaged or exposed wires. Regular cleaning and dusting behind and underneath your refrigerator can help prevent any fires that may be caused.
- Remaining dust and lint in your dryers’ vents and hoses can be a major fire hazard. Dryer vents and hoses should be inspected and cleaned regularly to remove any buildup.
- Most water heater risks are due to pressure buildup and incorrect ventilation. Gas leak detectors are great tools to help prevent natural gas and carbon monoxide leaks. Testing the relief valve once a year can help assure that excess pressure is being released and working correctly.
- If you’ve ever touched a hot light bulb, you know how hot it can get—up to 300 degrees for a 100-watt bulb. So keep anything that will burn away from light bulbs, portable heaters or toasters.
Home Wiring & Service Panels
Your home wiring is just a number of loops or circuits. A “live” wire brings current to a light or an outlet. A “neutral” wire returns current to its source. Between inside wiring and outside lines is a service panel.
Your service panel contains fuses or circuit breakers that interrupt power to specific circuits in case of a short circuit or overload.
If this happens:
- Unplug appliances
- Switch off power at the main switch
- Consult a licensed electrician
- If you have circuit breakers instead, switch the one that’s “off” to “on”
- Restore power
- Never put a penny or aluminum foil in a fuse box to replace a fuse as this could cause a fire