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Residential Safety Checklist

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 no cords are cracked or frayed; keep out of traffic areas; do not nail or staple to wall, baseboard 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 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 manufacturer's instructions.
  • Light Bulbs - Check wattage of all bulbs to make sure 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 - Should be 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 plugged-in appliance falls into water, never reach in 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's been checked by a qualified repair person.
  • 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 surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.

Information compiled from National Electrical Safety Foundation

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