Safety Checks For Your Home
The following are suggestions from the National Electrical Safety Foundation:
Outlets: Periodically check outlets that have loose-fitting plugs which can lead to overheating and a potential fire hazard. Replace any missing or broken wall plates and make sure that there are approved safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to small children.
Cords: Make sure all cords are in good condition and free from fraying or cracking. Cords should never be nailed or stapled to a wall, baseboard or to another object. Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on them. Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis as they are not allowed per code to be used as permanent household wiring. Make sure extension cords have safety enclosures to help prevent young children from shock hazards and mouth burn injuries
Plugs: Make sure your plugs fit your outlets. Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet as this could lead to an electrical shock. NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IF IT DOES NOT FIT. Plugs should fit securely into outlets. Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances.
Water and Electricity Do Not Mix: Do not leave plugged-in appliances where they might fall in contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out (EVEN IF THE APPLIANCE IS TURNED OFF). First, turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, do not use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
Light Bulbs: Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture. Replace bulbs that have a higher wattage than recommended. If you do not know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely as loose bulbs may overheat.
Appliances: If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
Outdoor Safety: Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass, or in wet conditions. Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs, and cracked or broken housings. If damaged, stop using it immediately and repair or replace it. Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tool(s). Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use. Since metal ladders conduct electricity, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.
Space Heaters: Space heaters are meant to only supply supplemental heat. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture, and rugs. DO NOT use in rooms where children are unsupervised and always remember to turn off and unplug when not in use.