Here are some basic electrical safety guidelines:
- Have a professional electrician perform all electrical work.
- Plug one heat-generating appliance into each receptacle (wall outlet) at a time. This includes hair straighteners, toasters, coffeemakers, space heaters, etc.
- Major appliances should never rely on plug strips or extension cords. Refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers, etc. should connect directly to receptacles.
- Never set electrical cords under carpets or across doorways. Extension cords are strictly temporary. Hire a certified electrician to add more receptacles to your home.
- Double-check the recommended wattage for light fixtures, including stand-alone lamps. Never exceed the maximum light bulb wattage indicated on the product labels.
Call a qualified electrician for the following issues:
- Dull or flickering lights.
- Receptacles that feel warm, appear discolored, or release sparks.
- Tingling or prickly sensations when touching an electrical appliance.
- Frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers.
- Rubbery or burning scent that seems to come from an electrical appliance.
- It may be a good idea to install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) in your home. These circuit breakers will shut off electric currents if a dangerous condition occurs.
- Installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in your home may help prevent shock hazards. Outdoor receptacles should always be protected by GFCIs. Kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and basements are also good locations to protect with GFCIs.
Test AFCIs and GFCIs once a month to ensure proper functioning. If you are remodeling your current home, or purchasing a new one, always schedule an inspection with a qualified electrician. Keep young children away from receptacles, and begin teaching electrical safety habits at an early age.
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