Safety is always a great concern where electricity is involved. We at Harmon Electric Association, Inc. continuously strive to educate our members on safety. Below are some helpful tips for electrical safety around the home.
- Check electrical outlets for loose fitting plugs that can shock or be a fire hazard. Replace missing or broken wall plates. If you have young children, make sure safety covers are used on unused outlets. Consider installing tamper-resistant receptacles which have a built-in shutter system which prevents hairpins and other small objects from being inserted into the outlet. Make sure outlets are not overloaded with too many appliance plugs.
- Check appliance cords in your home as well as the plugs and connectors. Make sure that they are not frayed, cracked or damaged, placed under rugs or carpets, resting on furniture, or located in high traffic areas. Do not nail or staple cords to walls, floors or any other objects.
- Extension cords should be used on a temporary basis only. They are not intended for use as permanent household wiring. If you are using extension cords, make sure that they have safety closures. Only extension cords specifically stated for outdoor use should be used outdoors. Never use an indoor extension cord for outdoor use.
- Check your electrical panel to make sure breakers and fuses are properly rated for the circuit they are protecting. If you do not know the correct rating, have a qualified electrician identify and label the correct size to be used. When replacing a fuse, make sure you replace it with the same size as the one that you are removing.
- Check light bulbs to make sure the wattage matches fixture requirements. Make sure not to replace bulbs with those that have higher wattage than recommended. The bulb should be screwed in securely to prevent overheating.
- If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or gives you an electrical shock, immediately unplug, repair or replace it.
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which are inexpensive electrical devices that shut off power instantly if there is problem and should be installed in all “wet” areas of the home. GFCIs should be tested monthly to insure they are working properly.
- Consider installing arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) on bedroom circuits, smoke detectors in all bedrooms and in hallways within 15’ of bedrooms, and at least one smoke detector on every level.
- Carbon monoxide detectors should also be within 15’ of each bedroom unit.
- Inspect all outdoor connections, appliances and tools for frayed cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housings.
- Appliances and water don't mix. Don't leave plugged in appliances where they might fall in contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out - even if it's turned off. First turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
- Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials. Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time and never use touchier lamps in children's bedrooms or playrooms. Visit the following link for great source of electrical safety.