Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety Tips

During a typical year, home electrical problems account for 67,800 fires, 485 deaths, and $868 million in property losses. The City of Carthage would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property. In the safety of your home, there are many potential dangers related to electricity. These are just a few tips to help you avoid accidents and spot potential problems.

Use power cords with caution.

  • Replace cords that are damaged or frayed
  • Never place cords under carpet or rugs
  • Extension cords are only for temporary use. Prolonged use of extension cords can cause overheating and fire.
  • Never pull a cord; always pull the plug.

Be careful with electricity around water!

  • Never reach for an appliance that has fallen into water. Do not unplug appliances that have fallen into water. Turn the power off at the breaker before you unplug the appliance or remove it from the water.
  • Never turn on an appliance that is sitting on a damp counter.
  • Don't touch a switch if your hands are wet.
  • Turn off appliances used near the sink after each use.
  • Don't set a radio or telephone on the edge of the bathtub or sink.
  • Don't use a hair dryer when your hands are wet or when you are standing on a damp floor or in a wet tub or shower.

Keep your  home's electrical system in good repair.

  • If you continually replace fuses, reset circuit breakers, hear unusual buzzing sounds, see sparks or flickering lights, you may have a problem with the electrical wiring in your home. Contact a licensed electrical contractor to perform an inspection and make any necessary repairs.
  • Always use the correct ampere rated fuses or circuit breakers. Incorrect amperage can cause power outages or fires in your home. If you are unsure of which amperage fuse or breaker to use, contact a licensed electrician.

Practice safe electrical usage throughout your home.

  • Never overload outlets. Using multiple plug-in adapters or power strips could cause a fire.
  • If an electric appliance smells hot or buzzes, don't touch it or try to unplug it. Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker and unplug it.
  • Avoid the risk of fire by using manufacturer's suggested wattage for light bulbs in lamps, light fixtures and all other appliances.
  • Keep electric space heaters away from flammable materials like curtains, rugs or newspapers. Only use UL-listed space heaters, and always operate space heaters to manufacturer's specifications.
  • In areas of your home where shock is a greater potential, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, laundry rooms, porches and patios, install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, (GFCI) in your main electrical panel, or have GFCI receptacles installed in those specific rooms. These safety devices reduce the risk of electrocution.