on October 31, 2011 at 9:25 AM
Flipping a light switch. Plugging in a coffeemaker. Charging a laptop computer. These are second nature for most of us. Electricity makes our lives easier. However, we need to be cautious and keep safety in mind.
- Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
- When you are buying or remodeling a home, have it inspected by a qualified electrician.
- Only plug one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker,toaster, space heater, etc.) into a receptacle outlet at a time.
- Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, airconditioners, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extrension cords and plug strips should not be used.
- Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are a kind of circuit breaker that shuts off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home. Use a qualified electrician.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of shock. GFCIs shut off an electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard. They should be installed inside the home in bathrooms, kitchens, garages and basements. All outdoor receptacles should be GFCI protected.
- Test AFCIs and GFCIs once a month to make sure they are working properly.
- Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets so you don’t have to use extension cords.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. There should be a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb to use.
Call a qualified electrician or your landlord if you have:
• Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
• A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
• A burning or rubbery smell coming form an appliance
• Discolored or warm wall outlets
• Flickering or dimming lights
• Sparks from an outlet