Safety starts with you


Posted on May 27 2024 in Heartland REMC

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Heartland REMC, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards.

Remember, every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their operations with maintenance and care, none are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic inspections.


Outdoor outlets or those in potentially damp locations in a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room often include GFCI features. They are designed to sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets.

Check your GFCIs frequently. Test them by pressing the red button. When you are done, make sure you hit the black reset button. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.


Power strips with surge protectors can help safeguard expensive equipment like televisions, home entertainment systems, and computer components from power spikes. Voltage spikes are measured in joules, and surge protectors are rated for the number of joules they can effectively absorb. That means if your surge protector is rated at 1,000 joules, it should be replaced when it hits or passes that limit. When the limit is reached, protection stops, and you’re left with a basic power strip.

Some surge protectors include indicator lights that flicker to warn you when they’ve stopped working as designed, but many do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit or you don’t remember when you bought your surge protector, replacement may be the best option.


If you regularly use extension cords to connect devices and equipment to your wall outlets, you may live in an underwired home. With a growing number of electrical devices connecting your family to the electricity you get from Heartland REMC, having enough outlets in just the right spots can be challenging. Extension cords are designed for temporary, occasional, or periodic use.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 51,000 electrical fires are reported yearly in the United States, causing more than $1.3 billion in annual property damage.

Electricity is a necessity for modern living. Heartland REMC is committed to providing safe, reliable, and affordable power to all of our members. We hope you’ll remember these electrical safety tips so that you can note any potential hazards before damage occurs.