Home > Residential Services > Safety > Safety at Home

Safety at Home

Follow these tips to be safe around electricity at home:

  • If your power goes out frequently or the lights in your home flicker, produce an odor or make noise, have an electrician come to inspect your wiring.
  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a tool that protects you from a dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you. 
  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “faceplates.” 
  • All electrical cords should be in good condition.
  • Don't tie or knot cords. Don't let furniture sit on cords. 
  • Use the right light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures. Look inside the light fixture. Find a label that tells you which light bulb size (wattage) is right for the fixture.
  • Look for a mark on the label such as ETL or UL when you buy electrical appliances (such as toasters, microwaves or coffee makers) and cords. This will tell you the product has been tested for safety.
  • Unplug toaster ovens, coffee makers and other small appliances after using them.
  • Keep appliances dry and away from water at all times.
  • Don't plug in too many appliances at once. 
  • Unplug unused appliances and stow cords safely out of reach of pets, young children or hazardous situations. 
  • Appliances that generate heat, such as clocks, televisions and computer monitors, should be given several inches of clearance all around for good air circulation and cooling. Do not drape clothes, toys or other items over warm appliances. 
  • Always follow appliance instructions carefully, and do not attempt amateur repairs or upgrades. 
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from water such as sinks, bathtubs, pools or overhead vents that may drip. 
  • Do not operate any electrical appliance with wet hands or while standing in water. 
  • Keep clothes, curtains, toys and other potentially combustible materials at least three feet away from radiators, space heaters, heating vents and other heat sources. 
  • Keep trees pruned and away from power lines overhead as well as where the power lines approach the house. 
  • Do not fly kites, model aircraft or balloons near power lines. 
  • When using a ladder, carefully inspect the surrounding area to be sure it is free from power lines. 
  • Do not swim or play in water during an electrical storm, even if it is not raining. 
  • Do not approach a downed power line to see if it is live - it may give no signs that can be easily observed, but it is just as deadly. Contact GBPC immediately about downed lines. 
  • Fires are frequently caused by improper installation of electrical devices by untrained electricians.
  • It is essential to remember that water and electricity do not mix. This is extremely dangerous and must be avoided at all times.
  • When you use electrical devices safely, you can prevent electrical problems
  • Always use the proper size fuse. Never place a penny behind a fuse when you do not have a spare fuse.
  • Clothing or towels should never be placed on a lampshade. This is a fire hazard.
  • Ensure that proper wattage is used on all light fixtures. Most light fixtures are labeled to indicate the brightest bulb that can be safely used.
  • Use only extension cords that are rated for the power used by the device they are powering.
  • Ensure that only authorized and licensed electricians conduct electrical installations.
  • All electrical appliances used outdoors should be designed for that purpose.