Most people realize it’s important to stay away from high-voltage power lines, but it’s just as important to take some basic safety precautions inside your home to avoid harm. Here are some indoor tips to keep your family safe.
- When unplugging a cord, pull on the plug, not the cord.
- Repair or replace damaged cords.
- Don't place cords where someone can easily trip over them or where people will be walking on them (under carpets, across doorways, etc.).
- When operating power tools, be sure to keep the cord away from the tool.
- Don't coil appliance or extension cords while they're in use.
- Avoid using extension cords when possible. If you must use an extension cord, pick one that is at least as large as the appliance's cord.
- If more than one appliance is being connected to an extension cord, add the individual amp ratings of the appliances together and check that sum against the amp rating of the cord.
- Use a three-wire extension cord with an appliance that has a three-wire cord.
- Use a moisture-resistant cord outside.
- Unplug extension cords when not in use.
- Don't use extension cords as substitutes for permanent wiring.
- Fully assemble appliances before plugging them in.
- Never use an appliance around or in a wet area.
- Teach children not to touch appliances with wet hands.
- Keep combustible materials away from heating appliances.
- Unplug small appliances when you've finished using them.
- Never leave operating portable heating equipment unattended.
- Use bulbs of the appropriate wattage in fixtures and lamps. Using a higher wattage bulb than recommended can overheat the bulb and may lead to fire. If the recommended wattage is not on the fixture, use a 60-watt bulb.
- Don't place insulation over recessed lighting.
- Don't place anything combustible near halogen lamps.
- Check out the special rules for Christmas tree lights...
Other in-home tips
- Use fuses or a circuit breaker with the recommended amps.
- Never overload a wall receptacle with too many appliances.
- Look for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal of approval when buying electrical equipment or appliances. Make sure the seal applies to the entire appliance, not just the plug or cord.