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For Electric Cooperative Members

Home Safety Checklist

The many ways you can avoid hazards

1. Check the wattage of all lightbulbs.

  • Are the bulbs the appropriate wattage for the size of the fixtures? A bulb that uses excessive wattage may overheat and cause a fire.

2. Check all lamp cords and extension cords.

  • Are cords placed out of walking areas and free of furniture resting on them to avoid a tripping hazard and excessive wear?
  • Are cords in good condition?
  • Are cords unwrapped? Tightly wrapped cords can lead to overheating.
  • Are extension cords being used only on a temporary basis? Extension cords are not as safe as permanent home wiring. Have outlets installed where they are needed.

3. Check all wall outlets and switches.

  • Are all outlets and switches working properly and cool to the touch? Faulty or warm outlets or switches may indicate an unsafe wiring condition.
  • Do you hear crackling, sizzling or buzzing from your outlets? If so, call a licensed electrician to identify the cause.
  • Are all outlet and switch cover plates in good condition? Replace any missing, cracked or broken cover plates.


1. Check all countertop appliances.

  • Are all appliance cords placed away from hot surfaces? Pay particular attention to cords around toasters, ovens and ranges.
  • Are all appliances located away from the sink? Electrical appliances can cause a shock if they come into contact with water. Plug kitchen appliances into ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets.

2. Check all large appliances.

  • Have you ever received even a slight shock from any of these appliances? If so, do not touch the appliance until it has been checked by an electrician.
  • Is the area above the cooking range free of combustibles like potholders and dishcloths? Using the range for storage of flammable objects could result in fires or burns.
  • Is there excessive vibration or movement when the washer or dryer is operating? Movement during operation can put undue stress on electrical connections.


1. Inspect space heaters.

  • Are space heaters placed away from flammable items, such as drapes and newspapers?
  • Are the heaters stable and placed where they will not be tipped over? Animals and even blowing drapes can cause space heaters to topple over, creating a fire hazard.

2. Ensure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.


1. Check for ground-fault circuit interrupters.

  • Are bathroom outlets protected by GFCIs? GFCIs should be installed in any areas where water and electricity may meet.
  • If you have GFCIs, do you test them regularly?

2. Check small electrical products, such as hair dryers and clippers.

  • Are they plugged in when not in use? Plugged-in electrical appliances (even when switched off) may result in an electric shock hazard if they fall into water.


1. Check your fuse or breaker box.

  • Is your fuse box or circuit breaker box accurately labeled so you can easily identify which circuits are used for each room?
  • Are you regularly resetting tripped breakers? Breakers that trip frequently may be a sign of overloaded circuits or other electrical hazards and warrant consulting a licensed electrician.
  • Is your home protected by arc-fault circuit interrupters? AFCIs are safety devices that replace standard circuit breakers and greatly reduce the risk of home electrical fires. Consult a licensed electrician if you are interested in adding AFCI protection to your home.