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Safety Tips
 

Outlets
Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs which can overheat and lead to fire. Replace any missing or broken wall plates. Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are within a child's reach.

   
Cords
Make sure cords are in good condition--not frayed or cracked. Make sure they are out of traffic areas where people could trip over them. Cords should never be nailed or stapled to a wall, baseboard or any other object. Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest furniture on them.
   
Extension Cords
Check to see that extension cords are not overloaded. Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intended as permanent household wiring. Make sure extension cords have safety closures to help prevent young children from shock hazards and mouth burn injuries.
   
Plugs
Make sure your plugs fit your outlets. Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet; this could lead to an electrical shock. NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IF IT DOESN'T FIT. Plugs should fit securely into outlets. Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances.
   
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. When a GFCI senses current leakage in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. It then interrupts power fast enough to help prevent serious injury from electrical shock. Test GFCIs monthly according to the manufacturer's instructions to make sure they are working properly.
   
Light Bulbs
Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended; if you don't know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs can overheat.
   
Circuit Breakers/Fuses
Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating for their curcuit. If you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same correct size fuse.
   
Water and Electricity Don't Mix
Don't leave plugged in appliances where they might come into contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out--even if it's turned off. Unplug it first. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it's been checked by a qualified repair person.
   
Appliances
If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker, or if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
   
Entertainment/Computer Equipment
Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs, and connectors. Use a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
 


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