Make sure electrical cords are insulated with plastic to avoid getting shocked. Replace damaged cords immediately.
- Ensure extension cords are in good condition — not frayed or cracked — and only use them temporarily.
- Make sure prongs on extension cords are clean — not broken or bent — and that they make good contact with the outlet. Use a grounded outlet whenever possible and avoid using adapters.
- Never staple or nail extension cords to the wall or another object. Place them where no one will trip over them.
- Do not put furniture or carpets over extension cords.
- Use cords with safety closures to protect children from shock hazards and mouth-burn injuries.
- Large appliances need large gauge extension cords. Using too small a wire can cause the cord to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard. (E.g. if you’re using a 20-amp device, make sure the cord is rated for at least 20-amps). This information is usually found on the tag attached to the cord.
- Do not use indoor extension cords outdoors.
- Keep outdoor electrical connections above ground and out of puddles and snow.
Plugs and Outlets
Too many cords plugged into one outlet can be a fire hazard. Use a power bar to avoid overloading outlets.
- Replace any missing or broken wall plates.
- Never remove the ground pin (the round third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet.
- Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit.
- Don’t overload outlets with too many appliances.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in bathrooms, near kitchen sinks or in areas where water and electricity may come into contact. GFCIs shut off power to prevent injury from electrical shock.
- Install tamper resistant receptacles for outlets within reach of children. All new installations are required to be tamper resistant receptacles.
Bulbs and Lamps
An overheated bulb or lamp could start a fire. Take the right steps at home to ensure your family’s safety.
- Never replace bulbs with a higher-than-recommended wattage. The maximum recommended wattage is usually shown on the base of the light fixture.
- Tighten bulbs securely to avoid overheating.
- Halogen lamps operate at much higher temperatures than standard bulbs and require extra care.
- Place halogen floor lamps at a safe distance from draperies, clothing or other flammable materials.
- Turn halogen lamps off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time.
Other Electrical Equipment
Don’t take shortcuts when dealing with electricity. Be aware of the appliances and equipment that use electricity in and around your home.
- Repair or replace any appliance that blows fuses, trips a circuit breaker or gives you a shock.
- Check electronic equipment and computers for damage to wiring, plugs or connectors. Use a certified surge protector to protect equipment from damaging voltage surges.
- Never operate a home backup generator without first getting a Saskatchewan licensed electrical contractor to install a transfer switch, which isolates your home wiring from main power lines.
- Replace a fuse with one of the same capacity. If you don’t know the circuit’s correct capacity, have an electrician find and label the circuit.
- Consider low-voltage lighting (e.g. mini-lights or LED lights) as a safer alternative for your outdoor decorative lighting. Better yet, save power and use solar lighting units for patios, steps and garden areas.
- Do not use electrical appliances in wet areas — even wet grass can create a hazard. Be careful using cords around pools, ponds or damp areas. If you must use electrical appliances in these locations, be sure to use only GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected outlets or extension cords that have the GFCI built into the cord.
- Keep tools and large objects like ladders and pool skimmers well away from any power lines. Touching or even going near a power line with one of these items can be fatal.
- Do not fly kites around power lines. Avoid the risk of sustaining electrical shock should you make contact with a power line while holding onto a kite.