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5 tips for electrical safety in your home

May 2, 2023 | Laura King-Homan | safety, tips
11945765 – close up of an orange power plug

Electrical safety can help prevent fires, injury or property damage in your home.

Many home fires and electrocutions or nonfatal electrical shock or burn injuries could be prevented by having a simple understanding of electrical safety principles and being safe in general. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has a variety of resources to educate homeowners. Here are five topics to educate yourself on for optimum electrical safety in your home.

Note: Before doing any electrical repairs or improvements in the home, always be sure you turn off the applicable breaker or unscrew the fuse that pertains to that outlet or fixture. Even with a light switch or fixture turned off, there is still power going to the source – it’s where the concept of “phantom load” comes from.

Prevent electrical overloads

Overloaded outlets and circuits are one of the biggest causes of residential fires. This graphic tells you more.

SAF_May Electric Safety Month_overload graphics

Practice extension cord safety

When you overload these cords, or don’t use them properly, they can cause fires. This graphic explains the dos and don’ts around extension cords.

tips for electrical safety SAF_May Electric Safety Month_extension cord graphic

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

You need to know more than just having a working smoke alarm to ensure you’re family can escape from a fire emergency. While a working smoke alarm cuts the chance of dying in a fire nearly in half, two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without them. Check out these tips for proper installation of smoke alarms.

Home safety checklists

Ensuring your home is safe from electrical hazards may seem overwhelming, but a great way to make it more manageable is to follow these checklists for a variety of home safety topics.

Always look up

Before you start any home project, take stock of your surroundings, including overhead, so you know where power lines are located. This graphic gives more tips.

tips for electrical safety SAF_May Electric Safety Month_home projects graphic

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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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