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You can protect yourself from electricity-related injures by checking for these potential problems.
- Check outlets and extension cords to make sure they aren’t overloaded. Examine outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire. Replace any missing or broken wall plates.
- Examine electrical cords to make sure they aren’t frayed, damaged or placed under rugs or carpets. Cords should never be nailed or stapled to the wall, baseboard or to another object.
- Consider installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). This is an electronic device used for protecting people from serious injury due to electric shock.
- Before purchasing an extension cord, make sure the rating on the cord is the same as or higher than the number of watts needed by the product that will be plugged into the cord. Extension cords should never be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
- Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating for their circuit. If you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same size fuse.
- If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
- Make sure entertainment and computer equipment is in good condition and working properly. Look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors. Use a surge protector or UPS bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
- During an electrical storm, do not use appliances (i.e., hair dryers, toasters and radios), electrical equipment or telephones (except in an emergency). Keep batteries on hand for flashlights and radios in case of a power outage.
- Make sure the proper wattage light bulbs are being used in light fixtures.