Practical pointers to stay safe around electricity

Posted on Apr 26 2022 in Features
Overloaded outlet
During Electrical Safety Month, make sure you have checked your home or business for overloaded outlets.

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and Indiana’s electric cooperatives want to raise awareness about potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety.

Modern homes run on electricity but if you don’t properly maintain your electrical products, they can create hazards. The good news: Eliminating electrical hazards from your home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

Many homes and their electrical systems were built before most modern-day home electronics and appliances were even invented. Today’s increased demand for energy can overburden an older home’s electrical system.

These tips will help you identify and eliminate electrical hazards so you can protect yourself, your family, and your home:

  • Make sure entertainment centers and computer equipment have plenty of space around them for ventilation.
  • Electrical cords for your computer or printer should not placed where they can be cut by sharp desk or drawer edges or rolled over by chair legs.
  • Regularly examine your electrical cords to check for signs of wear, fraying or cracking.
  • Use extension cords only as a temporary solution and never as a permanent power supply.
  • Do not place extension cords in high traffic areas, under carpets, or across walkways where they pose a potential tripping hazard. 
  • Use a surge protector to protect your computer and other electronic equipment from damage caused by voltage changes.
  • Make sure grounded (three-prong) appliances and equipment are plugged into grounded outlets.
  • Your electrical outlets should be fully covered by outlet plates.
  • Electrical panel doors should be accessible and unblocked by furniture and clutter.
  • All of your electrical equipment should bear the mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Heavy reliance on power strips is an indication that you don’t have enough outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed by a qualified, licensed electrician.
  • Keep liquids, including drinks, away from electrical items such as televisions and computers.

Electrical safety awareness and education among consumers, families, employees, and communities will prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities.