Cords - Keep all cords out of traffic areas. Check the cords to make sure they are in good condition, not frayed or cracked. Never nail or staple cords to the wall or other objects. Do not place cords under carpets or rugs.
Extension Cords - Make sure cords are not overloaded. Only use extension cords temporarily; they are not intended as permanent wiring. Extension cords should have safety closures to help prevent young children from mouth burn injuries or shock hazards.
Outlets - Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire. Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.
Plugs - Make sure your plugs fit your outlets - never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn't fit. Never remove the ground pin (the 3rd prong) to make a 3-prong fit a 2-conductor outlet. Do not overload outlets with too many appliances.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) - GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. They should be used in any area where water and electricity may come into contact. When a GFCI senses current leakage in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. The power is quickly interrupted to help prevent serious injury from electrical shock.
Water and Electricity Don't Mix - Don't 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 it's turned off. Turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
Light Bulbs - Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended.
Circuit Breakers / Fuses - Be sure to use the correct size current rating their circuit for your circuit breakers and fuses. 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 size fuse. Never use a penny in a fuse socket.
Space Heaters - Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture, and rugs. Don't use in rooms where children are unsupervised and remember to turn off and unplug when not in use. Do not use space heaters with extension cords; plug directly into an outlet on a relatively unburdened circuit.
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.
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 a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
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. Repair it or replace it. Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use. When using ladders, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.
Lightning - During an electrical storm, do not use appliances (i.e., hairdryers, toasters and radios) or telephones (except in an emergency); do not take a bath or shower; keep batteries on hand for flashlights and radios in case of a power outage; and use surge protectors on electronic devices, appliances, phones, fax machines and modems.
Halogen Floor Lamps - Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials. Consider using cooler fluorescent floor lamps.