Take an electrical safety tour of your home using this checklist:
√ Outlets: Check for loose-fitting plugs which can overheat; replace missing or broken wall plates; make sure there are safety covers on unused outlets within a child’s reach.
√ Cords: Make sure cords are not cracked or frayed; keep out of traffic areas; do not nail or staple to walls, baseboards, or any other object; do not place under carpets or rest furniture on them.
√ Extension Cords: Check to see that cords are not overloaded; use on a temporary basis only; make sure extension cords have safety closures to prevent young children from shock hazards and mouth burn injuries.
√ Plugs: Plugs must fit outlets; never remove the third prong; never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit; plugs should fit securely into outlets.
√ Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs): GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. When a GFCI senses current leakage in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred and interrupts power fast enough to help prevent serious injury from shock. Test GFCIs monthly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
√ Light Bulbs: Check wattage of all bulbs to make certain they are correct for the size of the fixture; replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended; make sure bulbs are screwed in securely–loose bulbs can overheat.
√ Circuit Breaker/Fuses: Fuses should be the correct size and current rating for their circuit; if you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used; always replace a fuse with the same correct size fuse.
√ Water & Electricity: DON’T MIX! Don’t leave plugged-in appliances where they might come into contact with water; if a plugged-in appliance falls in water, never reach to pull it out, even if it’s turned off–unplug it first. If an appliance has gotten wet, don’t use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
√ Appliances: If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker, or has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
√ Entertainment/Computer Equipment: Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs, and connectors; use surge protectors bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.