Safe Electrical Practices

Minimize outlet extenders or plug-in power bars

Minimize outlet extenders or plug-in power bars; these can overload an electrical circuit.

Repair or replace worn, frayed, or broken electrical cords.

Use only extension cords that match (or have a larger capacity than) the wattage of the appliances that you plug into them.

Make sure receptacles and appliances are properly grounded.

Check the maximum size of bulb allowable for lighting fixtures and don’t exceed the maximum wattage. Be especially careful not to use improperly sized bulbs in recessed light fixtures because of heat buildup.

Never replace a blown fuse with an improperly sized substitute.

Keep two fire extinguishers in your home—one in the kitchen area or service porch and one in the garage—located in clear view, near the exit. Fire extinguishers are coded according to the types of fires they can extinguish. An “A-B-C” multipurpose extinguisher puts out all common types of fires. Be sure your extinguishers are large enough to handle home fires. The minimum size to have on hand is classified “2A10BC” on the label.

Periodically check your extinguishers to be sure they are fully charged; this is usually just a matter of looking at a small gauge mounted on the top of the unit. At least once every five years have your extinguishers serviced by a qualified serviceperson. You can find service people listed in the telephone book’s classifieds under Fire Extinguisher Repair.