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For Electric Cooperative Members
For Electric Cooperative Members

Ways To Make Your Home Safer

Use outlets, cords and appliances properly and carefully

If you have small children, make sure unused wall outlets have safety coverings. Unprotected wall outlets can be a hazard. Also:

  • Check that outlets and wall switches are cool to the touch. Unusual warmth may indicate unsafe wiring and should be checked by an electrician.
  • Ensure all outlets and switches are working properly. Faulty equipment may mean unsafe wiring.
  • All outlets and switches should have faceplates. Exposed wiring is a shock hazard.
  • Check that extension cords are correctly rated for the amount of electricity they are going to carry and are approved by a reputable safety standards organization.
  • Screw lightbulbs in securely. Loose bulbs may cause a fire or shock.
  • Check all electric cords for visible damage. Frayed cords can be dangerous.
  • To avoid excessive wear and cord damage, ensure that cords don’t run under rugs and don’t have furniture resting on them.
  • Do not nail or staple electric cords in place. Cord damage can result in a fire and shock hazard—and extension cords should only be used for temporary purposes.
  • If you have wet hands or are standing on a wet surface or in water, don’t touch or use any electrical device.
  • Small appliances (hair dryers, toasters, etc.) should be unplugged when not in use. Unattended, connected appliances create an unnecessary risk.
  • Keep all appliance cords away from hot surfaces (toasters, range tops, ovens, etc.). Cords can be damaged by excessive heat.
  • Check that all appliances and electric equipment are located away from the sink and bath. Appliances can kill if they come into contact with water.
  • In kitchens, bathrooms and anywhere there is water nearby, standard outlets should be replaced with ground-fault circuit interrupters. GFCIs provide shock protection by quickly cutting off the circuit and preventing injury.
  • Never insert any metal object, such as a fork, into an appliance.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct wattage and proper kind of lightbulb in all lighting fixtures. The wrong type of bulb can lead to overheating or fire.
  • Never leave space heaters unattended when in use.