My Safety: Cords,
Outlets and Switches
Many electrical fires can be traced to faulty cords, outlets
and switches. Check them regularly to prevent accidents.
- Nearly 4,000 injuries a year are caused by misuse of electrical
- 800 are children under 10.
- Look for worn spots, brittleness and breaks on cords due
- Do not repair damaged cords with tape; instead, replace
- Don't overload extension cords or use "octopus"
fixtures that allow several fixtures to be run from a single
- Major appliances should always be plugged directly into
- A washer or dryer, for instance, can produce enough
heat to melt or set fire to a lightweight extension
- Don't leave power tools unattended and make sure you use
only one electric tool or device per extension.
- Watch where you place cords. They should never be wrapped
around heat producing appliances or pipes.
- Avoid placing cords in high-traffic areas where they may
be stepped on, tripped on or worn.
Outlets and switches
- Any switch or outlet that sparks or shocks when touched
in the normal course of operation should be repaired or
- Flickering lights can also mean trouble.
- Outlets should be located in the wall rather than in the
- Floor plugs are subject to spills and mopping.
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in bathrooms
and kitchens to prevent shock or fire.