Indoor Electrical Safety

While most electrical fires are caused by faulty wiring or overloaded circuits, most electrocutions in the home are caused by improper or careless use of appliances and small electrical devices.

The right way:

Do cover all electrical outlets and wall switches with cover plates, and replace any that are damaged.
Do protect small children and pets by using plastic safety covers in all unused outlets and keeping cords out of sight and reach. A cord as short as 12 inches can strangle a child.
Do make sure all electrical devices are in good repair - double-insulated tools and appliances are the safest. If a damaged wire inside a tool or appliance touches the body of the device, it would be the same as touching a bare wire.
Do use extension cords only on a temporary basis.
Do use a quality surge suppresser with enough sockets for every component.
Do keep all electrical devices away from water sources.
Do flag the fuse or breaker switch so no one else touches it while you're working. If you're not sure which circuit you'll be working on, turn off the main breaker switch or remove the primary fuse cartridge.


The wrong way:

Don't yank electrical cords from the wall - this can damage both the plug and the outlet.
Don't attach a cord to another surface with nails or staples - they can damage the insulation. Try not to twist, bend or walk on cords.
Don't use damaged or brittle electrical cords, even if bare wires aren't visible.
Don't attempt to fix an electrical appliance or tool while the unit is plugged in.
Don't plug one extension cord into another.
Don't run cords under furniture - it can damage the insulating cover.