12 tips to help you stay safe around electricity

Posted on Apr 25 2023 in Features
Frayed electrical cord
Regularly check your electrical cords for signs of damage.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), thousands of people in the United States are critically injured or electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes every year. An average of 51,000 electrical home structure fires occur each year, claiming almost 500 lives, injuring more than 1,400 people and causing more than $1.3 billion in property damage.

Many electrocutions and home fires are preventable by understanding basic electrical safety principles. There are several measures you can take to help ensure your safety and that of your loved ones, so try to keep the following tips in mind:

1 — Check to see that all of your electrical outlets are fully covered by outlet plates.

2 — Make sure that your electrical panel doors are easily accessible and unblocked by clutter and furniture.

3 — Keep liquids and drinks away from electrical items such as televisions and computers.

4 — Examine your electrical cords regularly and check for signs of wear, fraying or cracking. 

5 — Cords from appliances such as toasters and electric griddles should be placed away from hot surfaces — cords can be damaged by excess heat. 

6 — Use a surge protector to shield your computer and other electronic equipment from possible damage caused by voltage changes. 

7 — Situate your computer equipment and entertainment centers so they have plenty of space around them for ventilation. 

8 — Use extension cords as a temporary solution and never as a permanent power supply. 

9 — Make sure grounded (three-prong) appliances and equipment are plugged into grounded outlets.

10 — Avoid using an extension cord outdoors unless it is plugged into a grounded outlet.

11 — Use lightbulbs that correspond with the recommended wattage on your light fixtures. Overheated fixtures can lead to a fire.

12 — If you’re relying heavily on power strips, contact a qualified, licensed electrician to install additional outlets.

Electrical safety tips for kids

Baby playing with electrical outlet
  • Never insert anything other than an electrical plug into an electric outlet. 
  • You can damage your home and hurt yourself if you do!
  • Stay away from green box transformers or other electrical equipment; they can shock you.
  • Don’t go near power stations, substations or anything that says “High Voltage.”