Electrical Safety Checklist

Call a qualified electrician or your landlord if you have:

  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
  • Discolored or warm wall outlets
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Sparks from an outlet

Inspect your home for hidden electrical hazards.

Check electrical cords to make sure the wires are not damaged, cracked or loose. If the cords need to be repaired, take the item to a professional repair shop, hire an electrician or replace with a new item.

Make sure cords are not running across doorways or under carpets. If they are, have a qualified electrician install more outlets.

Keep children away from electric cords and outlets. Cords placed in the mouth can cause a burn and objects placed in a receptacle can cause a shock, burns or electrocution.

Make sure that all receptacle outlets and switches have faceplates.

Never put more than one plug in each receptacle. An outlet may have one or more receptacles — one to receive each plug.

Be sure that the bulbs in your lights match what is safe for the lamp. There should be a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage for the light bulb — such as use maximum of a 60 watt bulb.

Light bulbs in the living area of your home, including closets, should have a shade or globe for protection. Light bulbs can get very hot and cause a fire if something that can burn is too close.

Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) reduce the risk of shock by shutting off an electrical circuit when the circuit could be a shock hazard. Your home should have GFCIs in the kitchen, bathroom(s), laundry, basement, garage, and outdoor areas.

Heat producing appliances such as a toaster, coffee maker, iron or microwave oven draw a lot of electricity. Plug only one heat producing appliance in each outlet to prevent wiring from overheating.

Buy only appliances that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) protect against fire by monitoring the electrical current in a circuit and shutting off the circuit when unintended arcing occurs. AFCIs should be installed in your home. If not, have a professional electrician install them for you.

Keep ladders away from overhead power lines, including the electrical service into your home.

 

Think Green! Turn off lights when you are not in the room. Unplug appliances when not in use.