10 home electricity safety tips

Although we rely on electricity every day, we sometimes take it for granted because it is easy and dependable. We also don’t think about how this vital resource can create dangerous situations for us and our families. Brush up on your home electrical safety with these tips.

1 Water and electricity don’t mix. Keep electric appliances away from any source of water. People are good conductors because the human body is about 70 percent water. That’s why electricity often uses your body as the most accessible pathway to ground.

2 Unplug appliances with removable cords at the outlet first, then at the appliance. Grasp the plug when unplugging, not the cord. Pulling on the cord eventually weakens the connection between the plug at the cord.

3 Use extension cords only when necessary. Check cords for defects before you use them. Extension cords should have the seal of approval from a major testing laboratory, like Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL).

4 Keep your home equipped with an approved Class C fire extinguisher for electrical fires. Check the extinguisher regularly to ensure it is in working order.

5 If an appliance sputters, stalls, or gives off the slightest shock, turn it off and discard or repair it.

6 Don’t allow electrical cords to dangle from a countertop or a tabletop where they can be pulled or tripped over.

7 Disconnect or turn off power whenever work is being done on anything that uses electricity.

8 Household appliances like space heaters and televisions give off heat. Do not place them near anything flammable.

9 To protect little ones, insert specially designed plastic caps in low-level outlets when you’re not using them.

10 If in doubt about a possible electrical hazard, call your local electric cooperative.