Electrical Safety

Electronic devices are a necessity in everyday life, from utilizing computers in the workplace to cooking with kitchen appliances in your home. Electronics make our lives easier, but if not used properly, they can cause safety issues like electrical shock or fires.

Outlet Safety:  When plugging in electronics, it is important to take into consideration other items that are already plugged in to avoid overloading an outlet. If you have small children, prevent them from sticking their fingers into sockets by plugging in outlet covers. If you’re using an extension cord, avoid filling it to capacity with plugs. This can cause an override of power, which can damage your home’s electrical system or cause sparking, which can lead to a house fire. It is not recommended that extension cords be used on a permanent basis. Extension cords are not as safe as traditional house wiring, which can handle more current and is better grounded.

Cords & Plugs:  Be sure to keep any plugs and cords throughout your home organized. When plugging things in, ensure that the cords are secured or tucked away out of reach of small children or animals. Exposed cords can be chewed or pulled on, which can lead to electric shock.  Furniture and rugs should not cover electrical cords. The weight of these objects can compress the wires, causing them to break or fray, creating a fire or shock hazard. Avoid wrapping cords around objects to keep them out of the way. Tightly wrapped cords can trap heat, melting or weakening the insulation and causing electrical problems. When removing a plug from the wall, pull at the plug, not the cord. Tugging at the cord can cause damage to the electronic device, wall socket, or plug.

Electronic Device Storage: Large electrical appliances should be kept in dry areas of your home where they won’t run the risk of coming into contact with water. Electronics like washers, dryers, and televisions should be placed away from walls or corners to allow air circulation, which will help prevent them from overheating. Unplug appliances when they aren’t in use to eliminate the risk of overheating and causing a fire.

Electronic Maintenance Checks:  Check your household appliances for any damage to ensure they are working properly. Frayed cords, bent plugs, and other damage can cause the electronic to malfunction and cause a fire. Test your home’s Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (ACFIs) monthly. These are special circuit breakers that detect electrical arcing that would occur if a wire or connection is damaged. Without this system, overheating could go unnoticed and start a fire.

Use your electronic devices safely with these tips to prevent physical damage or fires from starting in your home.