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Indoor Safety at Home

Electricity is a regular part of our everyday lives, however, it can be dangerous if we do not practice safe electrical habits.

Outlets

  • Check for outlets that have loose fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire.
  • Replace any missing or broken wall plates.
  • Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.

Cords

  • Make sure cords are in good conditions - not frayed or cracked.
  • Make sure cords are placed out of traffic areas.
  • Cords should never be nailed or stapled to the wall, baseboard or to another object.
  • Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on them.

Extension Cords

  • Check to see that cords are not overloaded.
  • Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intended as permanent household wiring.
  • Make sure extension cords have safety closures to help prevent young children from shock hazards and mouth burn injuries.

Plugs

  • Make sure the plugs fit the outlets. Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet; this could lead to an electrical shock. NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IF IT DOESN'T FIT.
  • Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances.
  • Pull by the plug, not the cord when unplugging an appliance.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

  • GFCIs quickly shut off power when problems occur, to minimize electrical shock hazards.
  • Test GFCIs regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions to make sure they are working properly.

Light Bulbs

  • Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture.
  • Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended. If you don't know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture.
  • Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat.

Circuit Breakers/Fuses

  • 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 a fuse "blows" - Unplug the appliance causing the problem. Shut off the main power switch on the fuse box. Replace the burned fuse with a new one of the power rating, then turn on the main power switch.
  • Always keep a flashlight handy. Stand on a dry surface when touching fuse or breaker box.
  • Never use a penny or aluminum foil to replace a fuse.

Water and Electricity Don't Mix

  • Don't leave plugged in appliances where they might fall in contact with water.
  • If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out - even if it's turned off. First turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance.
  • If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repairperson.

Appliances

  • 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
  • Never use any electric appliance in the tub or shower
  • Never insert objects into an appliance without disconnecting it.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use.

Entertainment/Computer Equipment

  • Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs, and connectors.
  • Use a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
  • Be careful to keep drones, Mylar balloons, kites and other flying objects far away from substations, power lines and other electrical equipment.  Never attempt to retrieve anything from a substation or power line.  This can cause serious harm to you and those around you.  If you need help retrieving anything from a substation call our Outage Line at 1-888-582-2176.

Space Heaters

  • Space heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat. Keep space heaters at least 3 ft. away from any combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture, and rugs.
  • Don't use in rooms where children are unsupervised.
  • Remember to turn off and unplug when not in use.

Outdoor Safety at Home

  • Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions.
  • Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs, and cracked or broken housings.  If damaged stop using it immediately.  Repair it or replace it.  Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools.  Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use.
  • Always watch out for overhead wires and power lines when using a ladder, pool skimmer or any long object.  Make sure tools are approved for outdoor use.  They are made with heavier wiring, special insulation and three-way grounded plugs.  
  • Do not cut or trim branches that are in contact with power lines.  Call Benton PUD if concerned about the power lines in your trees. 
  • Teach children to stay away from power lines, substations, and transformers.