Electrical Fire Safety
- Purchase appliances that have been tested by an independent testing lab.
- Keep heat-producing appliances, irons, space heaters, etc., at least 3 ft. away from anything that can burn.
- Unplug toasters, coffee makers, etc., when not in use.
- Allow adequate air space around electronic components to prevent overheating.
- Use detachable appliance cords for deep-fat fryers, popcorn makers, etc., that are rated for the appliances' load requirements (amperage).
- Unplug the cords when not attached to an appliance.
- Modern electrical outlets accept three-pronged plugs polarized, with one prong wider than the other.
When old, ungrounded receptacles are replaced, have a qualified electrician upgrade the wiring system to accept grounded receptacles.
The new outlets are grounded to prevent shocks.
- Make sure your plugs match your outlets by upgrading the outlets, not by altering the plugs.
Never clip off the round grounding prong or file down the wide polarized prong.
- If you have little kids in your home, install plastic safety covers in unused outlets.
Electric Warning Signs
Spot electrical problems before they cause a fire or shock.
Be alert to the following danger signs:
- Recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
- Feeling a tingle when you touch an electrical appliance.
- Discoloration of outlet covers.
- A burning smell or other unusual odor coming from an appliance or wiring.
- Flickering lights.
If you cannot locate a problem inside your home, call your power company or an electrician immediately to inspect electrical connections to your home and at your electric meter.
Fuses & Circuit Breakers
- If a fuse blows, don't just replace it.
Find out what caused the circuit to overload and correct the problem.
- Never replace a fuse with one that exceeds the amperage rating for a given circuit.
- Avoid using several high-amperage appliances on the same circuit.
- Never replace a fuse with a penny or any other material that conducts electricity.
- Determine the cause of an overload before resetting a circuit breaker.
- Use cords within their marked rating — don't overload.
- Replace cracked/frayed electrical cords.
- Keep cords out of traffic areas and away from where children play.
- Don't pinch cords against walls or furniture or run them under carpets or across doorways.
- Use cords that are listed by an independent testing laboratory.
- Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn.
- Use bulbs that match the lamps recommended wattage.
- Use shades that will protect the bulb from breaking if the lamp is knocked over.
- Use only weatherproof fixtures and outlets for outdoor installations.
- Never run indoor extension cords across lawns for seasonal lighting displays or any extension cord across driveways or traffic areas.
- Never use electrical appliances outdoors in wet weather or when the ground or grass is wet, unless the appliance is specifically designed and labeled by a testing laboratory for such usage.
- Appliances used outdoors should be plugged into receptacles protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters.
- Outdoor electrical fixtures such as porch lights should be weather proof; use GFCI protected electrical receptacle outlets with weatherproof covers.
For questions about fire safety contact one of our Fire Prevention Inspectors at 574-3731