While we don’t often think about it, we rely on electricity for almost everything we do – it keeps us warm, makes our homes bright, allows us to access all of our entertainment, enables us to eat a warm meal and so much more. As we spend more time at home due to COVID-19, electricity certainly makes our lives more enjoyable – but it does come with some risks.
Brush up on these electrical safety tips to help keep you and other members in your home safe while enjoying the devices and appliances you love.
• Don’t overload your outlets. Every outlet in your home is designed to deliver a certain amount of electricity; by plugging too many devices into it at once, you could cause a fire.
• Avoid extension cords as much as possible. Running extension cords to plug in laptops or other electronic devices can create tripping hazards. Along with injury to someone in your home, this can also damage the wire or outlet if the cord is ripped out of the wall. If you find yourself using extension cords often, consider having an electrician install new outlets throughout your home when you are able to schedule an appointment.
• Keep electrical devices away from water. As our devices have started to come everywhere with us, it’s easy to forget they are electrical appliances with the power to injure. Teach kids that water conducts electricity, and even the slightest exposure can cause harm. Avoid plugging in devices near a sink or source of water and don’t get the charging cable plug wet.
• Protect small children from hazards. Toddlers and small children are very curious and they love to explore. If you have young children, consider putting safety caps or tamper-resistant receptacles on all electrical outlets. In addition, tidy all loose cords so they are up and out of reach to avoid kids tugging on them.
• Replace or repair damaged power cords. Exposed wiring is a danger that cannot go overlooked. If you see the protective coating on a wire is stripped away, be sure to discontinue use and replace it as soon as possible.
As we all work through the current health crisis talk to your household about these electrical safety tips to provide a healthy and safe living space for your family. For more information on electrical safety, visit our website at hydro.mb.ca/safety.
Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc