Tools & Appliances

Electric tools and appliances can be a hazard if used improperly. When considering the purchase of a tool or appliance, take a moment to consider where it will be used and under what conditions, and always keep these tips in mind while using tools and appliances:

  • The amperage rating of tool or appliance is the amount of current it draws. A tool with a higher amperage rating may not be the most efficient or best choice, since there's no guarantee that a motor will efficiently convert that current into real, work-producing power.
  • Don't use any electric tool or appliance in the rain or on wet surfaces, or while standing in water. Never place an electrical appliance where it could fall into water. Keep radios and other devices well away from tubs, sinks and swimming pools. Make sure your hands are dry when you use any electric tool or appliance. If you have to touch an appliance that's standing in water, disconnect the power at the service panel first.
  • Be sure tools and appliances are plugged-in to outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interruptions (GFCIs).
  • If an appliance gives off sparks, immediately unplug the device without touching its body. If sparks come from the cord, plug or wall outlet, shut off the power at the service panel.
  • Plug in portable appliances only when you intend to use them. Disconnect them and store them away when not in use.
  • Use appliances that have a seal of approval from a major testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Make sure there's proper ventilation around TVs and VCRs; restricted airflow can cause them to overheat.
  • Make sure all electric tools have 3-pronged plugs, or are double insulated. Never use a tool with a three-prong grounding plug with an extension cord that only accommodates two prongs, or use a three-prong adapter plug with a two-prong outlet.
  • Never use indoor appliances outside.
  • Make sure tools are properly maintained. Repair or replace worn or defective equipment immediately. Always unplug the tool or appliance you're using before making any adjustments or repairs.
  • Never use flammable liquids (gasoline, solvents, etc.) around electric tools.
  • Dress appropriately when using electric tools and equipment. Be sure to never wear clothing or jewelry that could become tangled.