• News
  • Safety Essentials for Your Home

Safety Essentials for Your Home


 Safety Essentials for Your Home

Make sure your family is safe from electrical dangers. Safe Electricity provides a checklist of basic safety essentials to help you keep your home safe from electrical fire and shock hazards:

  • Check outlets for loose-fitting plugs. Replace missing or broken wall plates so wiring and components are not exposed. If you have young children at home, install tamper resistant outlets (TROs) or cover unused outlets with plastic safety caps.
  • Never force plugs into outlets. Do not remove the grounding pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet. Avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs.
  • Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked, placed under carpets or rugs, or located in high traffic areas. Do not nail or staple them to walls, floors, or other objects.
  • Use extension cords only on a temporary basis—not as permanent household wiring. Make sure they have safety closures to protect children from shock and mouth burns.
  • Check wattage to ensure light bulbs match the fixture requirements. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage ratings than recommended. Screw them in securely so they do not overheat.
  • Make sure outlets in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, basement, garage, outdoors, or any area with water are equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). Test them monthly to ensure they are working properly.
  • Make sure fuses are properly sized for the circuit they are protecting. If you do not know the correct rating, have an electrician identify and label the correct size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same size you are removing.
  • If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker, or has given you an electrical shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. Look for cracks or damage in wiring and connectors. Use surge protectors to protect electronics.
  • Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, wires, or loose lighting fixtures. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls. Immediately shut off, then professionally replace light switches that are hot to the touch as well as lights that spark or flicker.
  • As you continue to upgrade your home with more lighting, appliances, and electronics, your home’s service capacity may become overburdened. If fuses blow or trip frequently, have a professional determine the appropriate service requirements for your home.

For more information on electrical safety around the home, visit SafeElectricity.org.