Here are a few small safety procedures for you to review. Being aware of any possible electrical hazards in your home and/or small business will help you maintain a safer building for each individual living and working in that building. Education and prevention are a lot less expsensive then having to make repairs due to neglect.
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Have your electrical breaker box labeled properly so that you know which circuit applies to which area of the building. This saves time when trying to locate a tripped circuit or when trying to disconnect power to a certain area of the house, like the kitchen, when completing home repairs and do-it-yourself projects.
Halogen lamps can be an excellent source of light. However, halogen bulbs get extremely hot, so be sure to keep your halogen appliances away from hanging drapes and other flammable fabrics, such as clothing. Also make sure you are using the proper lightbulbs for your particular lamp.
During any Michigan winter, space heaters create extra warmth where you need it. Yet, space heaters need to be placed approximately three feet away from any flammable materials like clothing, bedding, and furniture. Unplug your space heater when you are finished using it, same as you would with an iron or blow dryer.
Beauty appliances, like curling irons and hair dryers, should be unplugged when you are finished using them. Because of they are often used in bathrooms, these beauty appliances have an increased risk of coming into contact with water.
If you encounter a electricfied appliance sumberged in water, first turn off the power to that appliance at the electrical panel and then unplug the appliance from the wall. Do not use any appliance that has been sumberged in water until it is checked out by a qualified repair person.
Don’t overload outlets with extension cords. If you find you have more electronics then you have outlets, use a certified power strip with a surge protector or call your local electrican in to install more wall outlets. Most wall outlet installations take only one afternoon.
Extension cords are meant to be a temporary electrical solution. Make sure your extension cords are in good condition before using them. Do not staple cords to walls or baseboards as staples can puncture wires and cause more electrical hazards.
Make sure your wall outlets are securely affixed to the wall. Cracked or otherwise broken outlet plates are a hazard and should be replaced. Outlet plates are inexpensive and can be found at any local hardware store. Make sure you have safety covers over any unused plugs that are accesible to children.
The plug on any appliance is designed specifically for that appliance’s usage and maximum safety. Do not remove the grounding pin of a three-pronged plug under any circumstance. Use a three-prong adapter to plug a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet. Do not force a plug into an outlet it does not fit into.
During an electrical storm, do not use appliances because of the high risk of damage to the appliance and possible shock from lightning caused surges. Keep flashlights with fresh batteries and candles handy in case of power outages.
Make sure each light fixture in your house is fitted with the proper wattage light bulb specified for that light fixture. Light fixtures can overheat and cause electrical fires if light bulbs have too high a wattage for the fixture and if light bulbs are not screwed in properly.
If you choose to replace your own fuses, replace each fuse with the same size fuse and follow the manufacture’s directions when replacing them. If you do not know how to replace a fuse, nor know which fuse size is the right size for your house, call an electrican so that the problem can be taken care of professionally and safely.
Test the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in your house regularly. GFCIs are outlets with individual fuses located often near any area where electricity and water might encounter each other. These plugs can be found above or near sinks in your kitchen or bathrooms. To test your GFCIs, plug in a running applicance (a hair dryer will do fine) and press the “TEST” button in the center of the outlet. The running appliance should shut off if the GFCI is working properly. To reset your GFCI outlets, simple press the “RESET” button.
Be careful not to use outdoor appliances during the rain. Check to make sure your power tools and other outdoor appliances have no frayed wires and are in good condition before using them. Remember that metal ladders conduct electricity. Be aware of where the power lines are when climbing onto the roof or any building.