Appliance Safety

We use electrical appliances to heat, cool, clean, and perform countless other chores around our homes and businesses every day. It's easy to take these time-saving tools for granted and forget to put safety first.  Here are some useful tips to help keep you and your appliances safe.

  • When using space heaters, toasters, stoves, TVs or any heat-producing appliances, remember: keep combustibles such as paper, drapes or furniture clear of the appliance.
  • Keep the appliance clean, operating properly and out of high-traffic areas.
    Unplug irons and space heaters when you are finished and let them cool before storing.
  • Never try to operate an electric appliance while touching metal, standing on a wet surface or while taking a bath or shower.
  • A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) automatically shuts off power to the outlet protecting you from electrical shock and preventing fires. GFCI's should be installed in outlets near water sources such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages and outdoors. If your outlet has a red and black "test" and "reset" button, it has a GFCI.
  • Keep all objects, including fingers, away from all electric outlets. To prevent injury to young children, use outlet covers and never overload outlets.
  • Unplug appliances before cleaning, while performing minor repairs and when not in use.
  • Keep motors clean and free from lint, dust and dirt.
  • If an appliance sparks, smokes or shocks, unplug it and don't use it again until it has been repaired.
  • Have a qualified electrician assess your electric load; leave repairs and installations to the experts.
  • Avoid using extension cords whenever possible, but if you must use one, remember to:
  • Use a heavy-duty cord for power tools, a weather-resistant cord for outdoors, and a three-wire cord with a three-prong plug for appliances that require grounding.
  • Avoid using a three-pronged adapter and never remove the third prong to create a two-prong plug.
  • Avoid kinking, twisting or crushing the cord.
  • Pull the plug, not the cord.
  • Don't place a cord where it will be walked on, tripped over or damaged.
  • Keep cords away from heat and water.
  • Never wrap a cord around a metal pipe or an appliance and don't run a cord under a rug.
  • Replace blown fuses and light bulbs with correctly-sized fuses, amperage and watts.