Electrical systems and equipment become fire hazards if they are not well maintained. Follow these safety tips to prevent electrical fires.
- Immediately replace any electrical cords that are cracked or frayed, or that get hot during use. Don't overload outlets or extension cords. Don't run extension cords under rugs.
- If appliances aren't working right, have them repaired by a qualified professional or replace them.
- Disconnect any electrical device if you feel a tingle when you touch it, if it emits a burning smell, or if it blows a fuse. Be sure all your electrical appliances are listed or approved by an independent testing laboratory.
- If a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips, try to find out why. Make sure the new fuse is the right size and amperage. Fuses and circuit breakers protect you; don't tamper with them.
- If there are small children in your home, use child protector covers on electrical outlets.
- Prevent shocks! When using electrical appliances such as hair dryers, make sure your hands are dry, and do not stand in or near water. Unplug appliances after use. If the inside of an appliance gets wet, have it serviced before using it again. Any electrical outlet near bathroom basins or kitchen and bar sinks should be protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which you can recognize by its buttons marked "test" and "reset." If your kitchen and bathroom outlets aren't protected, consult a qualified electrician to have GFCIs installed.