Electricity has become an essential part of our every
day lives. Take a moment to think about all the things
that electricity provides and how different our lives would be
without electricity. While electricity is a great invention, it has
the potential to cause great harm. The following are some things
that you can do to be safe around electricity.
Circuit Breakers or Fuses:
Electricity enters the home through a control panel and a main
switch where one can shut off all the power in an emergency.
Control panels use either fuses or circuit breakers to protect the
wiring. Circuit Breakers and fuses should be the correct size,
current rating for their circuit. If a fuse is blown, be sure to
check why the fuse or circuit blew. Possible causes are frayed
wires, overloaded outlets or defective appliances. You should
always replace a blown fuse with the same size fuse. Under no
circumstances should you oversize the fuse to keep the circuit on.
This can overload the wiring and possibly lead to a fire
Outlets and Extension Cords:
Make sure all electrical outlets are three-hole, grounded
outlets. Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can
overheat and lead to fire. Replace any missing or broken wall
plates. Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets
that are accessible to children. If an outlet is located near a
source of water, it should be a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit
Interrupter) outlet. When a GFCI senses current leakage in an
electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. It then
interrupts power fast enough to help prevent serious injury from
electrical shock. All outdoor outlets should be GFCIs.
NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IF IT DOESN'T
Minimize extension cord use. They are not intended as permanent
household wiring. Use the proper electrical cord for the job, and
put safety plugs in unused outlets. Be sure to inspect extension
cords periodically. Check all cords for frayed wires or cracks in
the insulation. Make sure cords are placed out of traffic areas
where they may present a tripping hazard. Do not place cords under
carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on them.
All appliances need to be treated with respect and care. Check
appliances periodically to spot worn or cracked insulation, loose
terminals, corroded wires and any other components that might not
work correctly. If you find a problem with an appliance, either
replace the appliance or have it repaired by a qualified
If any appliance or device trips a circuit breaker, blows a fuse
or gives off a tingling shock, turn it off, unplug it and have a
qualified person correct the problem. Shocks can be fatal.
Portable Electrical Heating Equipment:
Portable electrical heaters are meant to supply supplemental
heat. Keep space heaters at least three (3) feet away from any
combustible materials and make sure they cannot be tipped over.
Don't use them in bathrooms because of the risk of contact with
water and electrocution.
Water and Electricity Do Not Mix:
People are good conductors of electricity. In areas where water
is present, use outlets with "ground fault circuit interrupters" or
GFCIs. Do not use electrical appliances in damp areas or while
standing on damp floors. Never touch an electric cord or appliance
with wet hands. 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 box and then unplug
the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't
use it until a qualified repairman has checked it.
<< Back to the Safety Awareness Section