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Electrical Safety

At Home

Become familiar with your home’s electrical equipment. The Electrical Safety Authority (“ESA”) suggests a few common signs that could signal a potential hazard:

  • Dim, flickering or surging lights.
  • Fuses that constantly blow or breakers that often trip.
  • Outlets that don’t work when the fuse is replaced or the breaker is reset.
  • Switches or fuses that are hot to the touch (turn them off immediately).
  • A hot, burning smell where you can’t find the source.

The following electrical safety tips are courtesy of the ESA. Visit their website for more information.

Extension Cord Safety

  • Keep extension cords away from heat and water.
  • Don’t run extension cords under carpets or heavy furniture.
  • Never remove the third prong – it’s there to prevent shocks!
  • Throw cords out that are frayed, cracked, squished or heat up when in use.
  • Extension cords are handy for temporary use only; have a Licensed Electrical Contractor install a permanent wiring solution if you need power in that spot permanently.

Plugs and Outlets

  • Replace any broken or missing switch plate covers right away.
  • Never load electrical outlets by plugging in too many plugs – use an approved power bar.
  • Install Ground Faults Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in your bathrooms and laundry rooms, and outdoors.
  • Test GFCIs regularly according to the manufacturers’ instructions (usually monthly).

Light Fixtures

  • Never exceed the recommended wattage bulb and choose the recommended bulb type in all fixtures.
  • Use the right pot light – there are ones for use in ceiling fans that have insulation and ones that don’t. Using the wrong one could cause a fire.
  • Don’t remove the insulation or any other component of a light fixture – this includes the insulation in flush mount fixtures and the grounding wire in all new fixtures.

Product Safety

  • Make sure electrical cords on your appliances aren’t loose or damaged.
  • Make sure your electrical appliances have recognized approval marks to ensure they meet the electrical safety requirements for Ontario.
  • Misuse of electrical appliances can cause fires – find cooking safety tips on the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) website.