One of my electrical appliances recently had a non-passive failure (industry talk for a small explosion) and it occurred to me that we have never really talked much about electrical safety. Most electrical apparatuses run for years without issue and without much maintenance and we never give them a second thought. But they are machines and we should respect them and always deal with them in a safe manner, here are a few tips to help keep you and your family safe.
Do – throw away those old Holiday lights. Don’t – leave the lights up over 90-days. Holiday lights are approved for temporary installations only.
Do – cut the electrical cord into many small pieces when throwing away a defective electrical device. You wouldn’t want others to be tempted to dig them out of the trash and get hurt using them.
Do – unplug electrical devices when not in use. This also helps save electricity because they do draw a small amount of power when not in use.
Do – make sure that you have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet anywhere near water (kitchen & bath areas) and outdoors; or use extension cords with a GFCI on the cord.
Do – replace the GFCI outlet if it has tripped a few times. They are not meant to be reset over and over again.
Do – dry off the sink area before blow drying your hair. Never-ever touch a running dryer that has fallen into water. It may look like it is not running but it is.
Do – always vacuum your car before washing it. Never-ever vacuum with water in the area. If there is one small cut in the cord, it could be deadly.
Do – tuck cords away out of the reach of children and small pets. Avoid running cords under carpets.
Don’t – plug one plug strip into another. Plugs strips are not approved to be joined together.