Electric plug and cord safety

Follow these room-by-room tips to minimize hazards at home:

An image of a kitchen. Four items are called out. They are: 1. The kitchen sink. 2. The refrigerator. 3. A fire extinguisher. 4. Under-cabinet lights.

Kitchen safety

  1. Anti-scald devices
    There are several devices on the market that will shut the water off when it exceeds a certain temperature. Make sure you install one in the kitchen sink, bath and shower.
  2. Appliances
    • When buying appliances, look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label.
    • Make sure your hands are dry before operating any appliance.
    • Replace damaged appliances and extension cords.
  1. Fire extinguishers
    Always keep one near your kitchen area.
  2. Lighting
    Keep stove and sink areas well-lighted.

Bathroom safety

An image of a bathroom. Five items are called out. They are: 1. A hair dryer. 2. A bath tub. 3. Lighting above a mirror. 4. A showerhead. 5. An electrical outley.
  1. Appliances
    • Remove any appliances around the sink or bathtub area. If you have a hair dryer, electric shaver or other appliance on a nearby counter top, unplug it as a precaution when bathing a child.
    • If an appliance falls in water, unplug it first. Never try to pull it out of the water while it is plugged in. Even when an appliance is turned off, electricity is still present within it.
  2. Bathtubs and children
    • When filling the bathtub for your child's bath, turn on the cold water first, then add hot water to it. When the tub is at the desired level, turn off the hot water first, and then turn off the cold water.
    • Before putting children in the bathtub, feel the water. If the water feels warm to you, it may be too hot for them.
    • Never leave a child alone in a bath, even for a minute.
    • Don't put children in the bathtub while the water is running.
  1. Lighting
    • Install night lights in bathrooms for children and elderly persons.
  2. Valves
    • Install pressure balance anti-scalding valves to keep the temperature of running water consistent even when the water pressure changes.
  3. GFCI outlet
    • A ground fault circuit interrupter, called a GFCI or GFI, is an inexpensive electrical device that can either be installed in your electrical system or built into a power outlet to protect you from severe electrical shocks.
An image of workshop or garage. Five items are called out. They are: 1. An extension cord. 2.A garage door opener. 3. Lighting. 4. Various tools. 5. A hot water heater.

Workshop and garage safety

  1. Extension cords
    They should have adequate capacity for the wattage of the tool or appliance you want to use.
  2. Garage doors
    They should be inspected regularly for safe operation.
  3. Lighting
    Workshops should be well-lighted and ventilated. The garage should also be well-lighted, with switches located at the doors.
  1. Tools
    • Always keep tools out of reach of children.
    • Tools should be properly grounded or double insulated.
    • When not in use, disconnect power tools or lock the switches.
    • Wear eye protection when working with tools.
  2. Water heaters
    Keep the setting at or below 120 degrees. If you can't change the setting, ask a qualified plumbing contractor or your landlord to do it.
An image of a utility room. Six items are called out. They are: 1. A circuit breaker panel. 2. Gas and water lines. 3. A non-descript gas appliance. 4. A light. 5. A shut-off valve. 6. A washer and dryer.

Utility room safety

  1. Fuses and circuit breakers
    • Become familiar with the proper fuse ratings for your electrical circuits.
    • Ensure that fuses or circuit breakers are correctly labeled.
    • Always determine why a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has tripped, and eliminate the cause before correcting the issue.
    • Have extra fuses on hand and turn off the main switch before changing a fuse.
    • Know where your main electric switch is and how to turn it off.
  2. Gas and water lines
    Always make sure they are clearly marked.
  1. Gas appliances
    • Know how to light the pilot light on gas appliances.
    • Call the gas company if you suspect a gas leak.
  2. Light bulbs
    Keep combustibles, such as clothes in closets, away from hot light bulbs.
  3. Valves
    Know where your main gas and water valves are and how to close them.
  4. Washers and Dryers
    Make sure both are electrically grounded.
Cross section image of the inside of a single-family home. A bedroom room is highlighted and three items are called out. They are: 1. A light. 2. Electrical outlets. 3. A smoke detector.

Other rooms

  1. Lighting
    • Areas with heavy traffic should be well-lighted.
    • Install night lights in bedrooms for children and guests.
    • Ensure stairways are well-lighted with switches at the top and bottom.
  1. Outlets
    To prevent octopus connections, your home should have plenty of wall outlets for lamps and appliances.
  2. Smoke detectors
    Inspect and test them regularly.