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).
- 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.
- 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.