Safety Tips Anyone Can Follow
Being safe when using
electrical appliances, extension cords, light bulbs and other
equipment is easy, and safety tips should be included in
household rules, fire safety and daily expectations for all
members of the family. It only takes one mistake to spark an
electrical fire, but simple prevention measures can be effective
Appliances are an integral part of every
household, from a simple electric clock to the microwave oven to
decorative holiday lights. These safety tips can help keep all
appliances operating safely:
•Unplug unused appliances and stow cords safely out of reach of
pets, young children or hazardous situations.
•Appliances that generate heat, such as clocks, televisions and
computer monitors, should be given several inches of clearance
all around for good air circulation and cooling. Do not drape
clothes, toys or other items over warm appliances.
•Always follow appliance instructions carefully, and do not
attempt amateur repairs or upgrades.
•Keep all electrical appliances away from water such as sinks,
bathtubs, pools or overhead vents that may drip.
•Do not operate any electrical appliance with wet hands or while
standing in water.
•Keep clothes, curtains, toys and other potentially combustible
materials at least three feet away from radiators, space
heaters, heating vents and other heat sources.
Hiring the Right Electrician
If you need to replace a
few electrical sockets in your home, your first inclination
would be to call an electrician who specializes in residential
electrical repair, but what if you need to replace your entire
electrical panel. A American Electrical Services is a Full
Service electrical company servicing all of the Greater Tucson
area and can help with all your needs.
Every electrical appliance has a cord, and
many homes use extension cords to increase the range of
electrical outlets. These safety tips can help keep cords in
good condition for safe operation.
•Check cords regularly for frays, cracks or kinks, including
power tool cords, holiday lights and extension cords.
•Cords are not be jump ropes, clothes lines or leashes, and
should never be used for anything other than their intended
•Cords should be firmly plugged into outlets - if the cord is
loose and can pull out easily, choose a different, more snug
•Do not staple or nail cords in position at any time; if the
cord does not remain where desired, use tape or twist ties to
•Cords should not be placed beneath rugs where they can become a
trip hazard or where frays will not be noticeable. Furthermore,
covering a cord will prevent it from keeping as cool as
•Do not make modifications to a cord's plug at any time - do not
clip off the third prong or attempt to file down a wider prong
to fit in a different outlet.
•Extension cords are a temporary solution only and their use
should be minimized whenever possible.
•Use the proper weight and length of extension cord for the
appropriate task, and be sure the cord is rated for indoor or
outdoor use, whichever is required.
•When unplugging a cord, pull on the cord at the outlet rather
than tug on the cord itself.
Every cord has to plug into an appropriate
electrical outlet, but these tempting niches are inviting to
unwelcome objects that can cause shorts and fires. Use these
electrical safety tips at home to keep outlets safe.
•Block unused outlets by changing to a solid cover plate or
using childproof caps.
•Do not overload outlets with multiple adaptors or power strips;
relocate cords instead.
•Never put any object other than the appropriate size plug into
•Install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in potentially
hazardous areas such as near pools, crawlspaces, kitchens,
bathrooms and unfinished basements.
•Keep all outlets properly covered with secure plates that cover
Call a Professional
You should always
consult a professional, licensed electrician before beginning
any major project that requires electrical repair or electrical
wiring. Attempting to install electrical wiring can be dangerous
if you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to do it right. Not
only could you be at risk for electrocution while you are
installing home electric systems, but faulty wiring can cause
shorts and fires later if not installed properly.
Light bulbs are the single most common
electrical fixture in homes, and proper light bulb safety can
keep them from becoming a common electrical hazard.
•Use bulbs that have the correct wattage requirements for each
fixture -- using a higher wattage bulb can cause the fixture to
•Consider switching to more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs
that provide the same level of light at a lower wattage level.
•Always screw bulbs in tightly; a loose bulb can cause sparks or
•Be sure to unplug or turn off a fixture completely before
changing light bulbs.
It is important to also practice electrical
safety when outside, since many electrical hazards can be found
near homes and not just inside their walls.
•Keep trees pruned and away from power lines overhead as well as
where the power lines approach the house.
•Do not fly kites, model aircraft or balloons near power lines.
•When using a ladder, carefully inspect the surrounding area to
be sure it is free from power lines.
•Do not swim or play in water during an electrical storm, even
if it is not raining.
•Do not approach a downed power line to see if it is live - it
may give no signs that can be easily observed, but it is just as
deadly. Contact the authorities immediately about downed lines.
At No Time Should You Cut Corners
Many times, faulty home
electric systems are created by people who want to save money
and do things themselves. Although it is admirable to attack any
project with a can-do attitude, saving money on your electrical
work is not one of them. Professional electricians are licensed
and go through a long apprenticeship process under journeyman
and master electricians. Training a "handyman" does not
For your home and office
When an Accident Happens
Don’t touch a victim who’s in contact with a power line.
Don’t touch anything that’s in contact with the victim.
Don’t attempt to move the power line.
If a victim, who is not in contact with the power line, is not
breathing or has no pulse, call 911. If you are trained in
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), begin immediately.
Electricity & Water
Because water makes it easier for you to become a
path to the ground, be careful when using electricity around
Don’t use power tools while the ground is wet or while standing
Don’t touch an electrical appliance while in a water, bathtub,
shower, pool or hot tub.
Make sure outdoor electrical outlets are weatherproofed and
protected by a Ground Fault
Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This device is designed to protect
you from electrical shock.