Learning Center

Home Electrical Safety Tips

Room by room, protect your family from electrical danger

electrical outlet with plug

Every year, electrical fires kill more than 300 Americans and injure an additional 1,100, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Tragically, many of these casualties could have been prevented.

Help protect your family from additional electrical hazards by performing a room-by-room inspection.

Kitchen electrical safety

  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) - fast-acting circuit breaker outlets that sense small changes in current and protect you from electrocution.

  • Unplug appliances such as coffee pots and toasters when not in use.

  • Keep electrical cords in good condition, with no exposed wires or cracked insulation.

  • Only plug one heat source, such as a griddle or waffle iron, into each wall outlet.

  • Do not overextend one electrical circuit by using multiple high-wattage appliances such as a microwave and a griddle.

Bathroom electrical safety

  • Install GFCI outlets.

  • Unplug hair dryers, curling irons and electric shavers from wall outlets when not in use.

  • Unplug portable space heaters when not in use.

  • Store electric-powered radios where they can't be knocked into a sink or bathtub.

Living Room electrical safety

  • Make sure that light bulb wattage does not exceed the wattage of light fixtures and lamps.

  • Do not use extension cords as permanent wiring.

  • Do not run electrical cords under throw rugs.

  • Plug valuable home electronics into surge protectors.

  • Wattage on electronic equipment should not exceed the listed maximum on extension cords and power strips.

  • Make sure halogen lamps have metal safety covers and that lamps are not susceptible to tipping.

Bedroom electrical safety

  • Place electric blankets on top of bed linens to avoid overheating.

  • Plug computers and home-electronic equipment into surge protectors.

  • Light bulb wattage should not exceed that of lighting fixtures and lamps.

Basement electrical safety

  • Cords for large appliances, such as washers, dryers and second refrigerators, should be in good condition and grounded.

  • Do not use extension cords for permanent wiring.

Disclaimer: These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards. Compliance with these recommendations is not a guarantee that you will be in conformance with any building code, federal, state or local regulation regarding safety or fire. Compliance with these recommendations does not ensure the absolute safety of your occupation, business or residence. It is the property owner's duty to warn any tenants or occupants of the property of any safety hazards that may exist.


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