You don’t have to be a licensed electrician to make your home a save place. In fact, every homeowner should be aware of electricity safety tips. It’s easy to post a home electrical safety checklist on your refrigerator so everyone in the family can see it. Be sure to discuss the list with children so they understand why it’s so important to implement electrical safety tips at home. Check with your local electricity company for a complete list of home safety tips.
No matter where you reside and no matter how large your living space is, the following home electrical safety checklist can enhance your overall safety.
Electrical Safety Tips at Home
- Unplug Anything You’re Not Using: There’s no reason to leave things plugged in if you’re not using them. Try to remember to unplug all unused appliances and devices. This will also help you save on utility bills. If you use smart plugs, program them to shut off during the times when you don’t use those particular appliances or devices.
- Be Aware of Worn Cords: Replace and Repair any cords that appear to be worn, broken or without the proper amount of covering.
- Use the Proper Wattage: For any lamp that does not list a specific wattage, use a 60-watt bulb as the default. For other lighting sources that don’t list a wattage, use a 25-watt bulb as the default. On ALL other devices that call for light bulbs, including lamps, refrigerator interiors, etc., be sure to follow the exact guideline on the device. Most every modern appliance will tell you what power of bulb to use.
- Be Aware of Water: Never place electrical devices, appliances or equipment near sources of water.
- Allow Space for Air: Most appliances, like blenders, portable heaters, and computers, need open space around them to allow for air flow. Never leave these or similar electrical units in air-tight or closed-in spaces.
- Keep Exhaust Fans Clean: Computers and many other electrical devices use exhaust fans to keep their components cook and to prevent over-heating and fire. Even air exhaust fans in restrooms need to be cleaned occasionally. Cleaning exhaust fans on a regular basis will lengthen the life of the device, prevent buildup of dangerous gases, and help you avoid a potential short circuit in an over-heated device, appliance, or piece of equipment.
- Supervise Use of Portable Heaters: Never store flammable items near any heater, portable or otherwise. Additionally, keep all portable heating units away from curtains and drapes, food, pets, and children. Make certain that portable units are secured in a level position on a solid surface or floor.
- Remember “RTM”: That’s short for “read the manual.” In other words, always read instructions that come with your appliances, devices, and electrical equipment. One of the primary causes of electrical accidents is misuse that results from users who do no follow instructions.
- Avoid Outlet Overload: Be careful not to plug too many devices into a single outlet. If you can’t avoid doing so, be sure to purchase an energy-saving power strip that’s designed to prevent overloads and power surges. These convenient, inexpensive devices often include a single “on-off” button that allows you to shut down all the plugged-in devices when not in use. They also prevent electrical fires caused by overloaded and overheated outlets.
- Use Safety Caps: Place safety caps on every low-lying outlet in your home to keep curious children from shocking themselves. You can buy these small plastic items at any big-box store and put them into every plug in your home to keep toddlers away from danger.
- Do a Final Inspection: Before you retire for the evening, walk around your home and make sure that al electrical devices are off or unplugged. Make sure stray lights in closets, basements, or attics are not left on. Check thermostats and smoke alarms to see that they’re running properly. Inspect any unusual smells or noises that might be the result of faulty electrical equipment, devices, or appliances.
Consider printing up several copies and putting them in strategic places around your house, like on the frig, near the washer and dryer, next to entertainment centers and near desktop computers.