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Electrical Safety at Home

 hidden electrical hazardsFollow these three steps to identify and address the hidden electrical hazards in your home:

1. Read more about hidden electrical hazards.


2. Watch ESA's video Electrical Safety Hazards at Home.


3. Follow these electrical safety tips on:  extension cords, plugs and outlets, light fixtures, electrical products, your home's electrical systemand more


Extension Cord Safety

  • 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
  • never remove the third prong – it’s there to prevent shocks! 
  • throw out cords that are frayed, cracked, squished or heat up when in use.
  • keep extension cords away from heat and water 
  • don’t run extension cords under carpets or under heavy furniture
  • use the right one for the job -- there are special extension cords rated for use with appliances like heaters and air conditioners, and also ones specifically for outdoor use

    3 prong plug


Plugs and Outlets

  • never overload electrical outlets by plugging in too many plugs – use an approved power bar
  • replace any broken or missing switchplate covers right away
  • install Ground Faults Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in your bathrooms and laundry rooms, and outdoors
  • test GFCIs regularly according to manufacturers’ instructions (usually monthly)

 

potlight in ceiling
Light Fixtures

  • use the right potlight for the job – there are ones for use in ceilings that have insulation and ones that don’t. Using the wrong one could cause a fire
  • never exceed the recommended wattage bulb and choose the recommended bulb type in all fixtures
  • don’t remove the insulation or any other component of a light fixture when you’re installing it – this includes the insulation in flush mount fixtures and the grounding wire in all new fixture

 


Product Safety

  • check that all electrical appliances have recognized approval marks to ensure they meet the electrical safety requirements for Ontario
  • make sure electrical cords on your appliances aren’t loose or damaged
  • misuse of electrical appliances can cause fires – find cooking safety tips from the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC)
  • visit our product safety section to learn more

 


Your home’s electrical system

Don’t ignore these following electrical hazard warning signs:

  • 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 breaker is reset
  • switches or fuses that are hot to the touch (turn them off immediately)
  • or a hot, burning smell where you can’t find the source

A Licensed Electrical Contractor can help you assess and address these potential electrical hazards!

 

More electrical safety tips

Keeping kids safe
At the cottage
When stormy weather hits
Yard & garden
Back to school