How to Be Safe Around Electricity

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While we all depend on electricity in many aspects of our lives, we can often take it and its safety for granted. Be vigilant about the safety of you and your family regarding electricity and its potential to cause fires.

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical-fire extinguisher
  • Outlet covers
  • Keep dry. Never touch electrical equipment/cords with wet hands, feet or cloths. And don't use the equipment near water.

  • Avoid overloads. Don't plug in six cords to an outlet that is only capable of handling two.

  • Repair and replace damaged cords. To repair it, wrap it tightly with insulating tape. This will make the cord safer, but don't wait too long to replace the cord with a new cord.

  • Unplug items immediately after you use them so short circuits or failure to turn an item off doesn't cause damage.

  • Turn the item off immediately and unplug from the outlet if you smell something fishy like burning. This could be sign that an appliance plug is overheating and starting to melt.

  • Cut the item off and unplug it immediately if it is getting warm. You will also want to turn off the circuit breaker (in the breaker box) to this outlet. Check to see if there is any damage to the outlet and/or the plug.

  • Purchase a special fire extinguisher made for electrical fires.

  • Turn off the circuit breaker when working on any switches, plugs, outlets or fixtures.

  • Use the plug to unplug a cord, not the cord itself.

  • Install outlet covers if you have small children in the home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never use water on an electrical fire.
  • Do not run cords under carpets because you won't be able to tell if they are becoming worn or damaged.
  • Never hammer nails near cords or wall sockets. You might accidentally hit the cord and cause shock and/or fire.
  • Fix loose connections as soon as possible to prevent a dangerous situation.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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