January 21, 2020

Electrical safety tips can save your life

May is Electrical Safety Month. Here are some do’s and don’ts in order to make your home a safer place to live.


* Use extension cords only on a temporary basis.

* Put safety covers on unused receptacle outlets and extension cords.

* Unplug the appliance and call an electrician if the receptacle face plate feels hot or if there is sparking, smoke or odor coming from the outlet, plug or appliance.

* Examine cords (appliances and extensions) regularly for signs of wear and tear and damage to insulation.

* Unplug all nonessential electrical appliances when not in use.

* Test ground fault circuit interrupters periodically according to manufacturer’s instructions to determine that they are working properly.

* Use only extension cords that have been listed by a registered certificate organication, such as Underwriters Labortories, Inc.


* Don’t attach extension cords to the wall with nails or staples, and don’t use extension cords that are worn or damaged.

* Don’t put extension cords under rugs in high traffic areas or rest anything on an extension cord.

* Don’t overload cords with more than the proper electrical load.

* Don’t touch any appliance that has emmitted an electrical shock until the appliance has been unplugged.

* Don’t place any appliances near water such as a sink or bathtub.

* Don’t place an appliance cord so that it will come in contact with a hot surface.

* Don’t leave any wiring exposed in outlets and switches. Obtain the correct size face plate.

* Don’t ignore switches or receptacle outlets that don’t work. Obtain the help of a qualified electrician.

Consumer Forum is a collaborative effort of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast COMBAT. Send your questions to Consumer Forum, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329. COMBAT is a membership organization with basic dues of $10 a year. For membership information write to the above address. Please enclose a large, stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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