Saturday, December 13, 2008

Are You Safe?

You should be aware of and checking for hidden electrical hazards in and around your home.

Damaged wires or deterioration to exposed wire sheath can present shock or fire hazard in your home if not repaired.

If you have overheated plugs or outlets, fuses that blow, or circuits that trip frequently, it may indicate an overload of the circuit, or possibly faulty electrical wiring or equipment.

You should test your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets every month to make sure they are operating properly. Defective GFCI outlets can be identified by pushing the red test button. If the power stays on after you have pushed the button, your GFCI is defective. These defects are more common with older GFCI products.

Dim or flickering lights can also be a warning sign. Often, they can indicate a loose connection in a lighting circuit, fixture or in your electrical service.

Don't forget to look for power lines running through or between trees. Call your local Hydro office. Do not climb or try to trim trees yourself.

You should also avoid problems by making sure your home has no frayed or damaged extension cords or cord ends with exposed wires. Extension cords used incorrectly or as permanent wiring can also create potential shock and fire hazards. Be on the look-out for damaged cords, undersized cords, cords under carpeting or furniture, and interior-rated cords being used outside.

Overloading outlets is also a big no no since it can often cause overheating and could cause a fire. You should contact a licensed electrical contractor if you're not certain of the load rating for your home's wiring. General purpose circuits are rated at 15 amps in most homes. As well, while covre plates are a quick fix, damaged outlets should be repaired to prevent fire and shock.

Incorrect grounding can cause shocks. Look for missing third prongs, or 2- to- 3-prong adapters. Consult an electrician for help in updating.

For more information, contact the Electrical Safety Authority at


YELLOW said...

Being a Scot there is no chance that i will overload my circuits. Just 2 too mean to pay for the electric in the first place. On a serious note, it is right to heed what you write. Hope you have a safe Christmas

KERTIS said...


Yaya said...

Thanks for the safety tips!

Jenn P. said...

This was a really good post. I have a rabbit and and a new puppy so we have been really careful with our wires around here.

Serapis Murillo said...

So many of us neglect electrical and safety issues. When our circuit breakers or fuses blow we simply just go and change them. Perhaps we even go as far as doing something really stupid, like getting more resistant breakers and fuses. As you stated, this was probably due to circuit overloads or bad wiring or equipment. Not taking care of this can unfortunately sometimes turn into a tragedy. Great advice. Nice Article.

Liza said...

Great tips! Back here in the Philippines, the usual cause of house fires is because of faulty electrical wirings.

Tina said...

hopping over here for a change mary ;)

thats great advice. alot of people dont even know basic common sense do they lol!!

Debbie said...

Wonderful tips! Thanks.

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