Most home lighting and wall outlet branch circuits may carry as much as 1500 watts (15 ampere branch); some kitchen circuits, as much as 2000 watts (20 ampere).
Q. Are lamp, extension, telephone and other cords placed out of the flow of traffic?
___ Yes ___ No
Cords stretched across walkways may cause someone to trip.
Whenever possible, arrange furniture so that outlets are available for lamps and appliances without the use of extension cords. Extension cords should not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
If you must use an extension cord, place it on the floor against a wall where people cannot trip over it.
Move the phone so that telephone cords will not lie where people walk.
Q. Are cords out from beneath furniture and rugs or carpeting?
Furniture resting on cords can damage them. Electric cords which run under carpeting can overheat and cause a fire.
Remove cords from under furniture or carpeting.
Replace damaged or frayed cords.
Q. Are cords attached to the walls, baseboards, etc. with nails or staples?
Nails or staples can damage cords, presenting fire and shock hazards.
Remove nails and staples from cords after disconnecting power.
Check wiring for damage.
Use tape if necessary to attach cords to walls or floors.
Q. Are electrical cords in good condition, not frayed or cracked?
__ Yes __ No
Damaged cords may cause a shock or fire.
Replace frayed or cracked cords.
Do not use frayed electrical cords
Q. Do extension cords carry no more than their proper load, as indicated by the ratings labeled on the cord and the appliance?
__ Yes __No
Overloaded extension cords may cause fires.
Replace No. 18 gauge cords with No. 16 gauge cords. Older extension cords using small (No. 18 gauge) wires can overheat at 15 amps or 20 amps.
Change the cord to a higher rated one or unplug some appliances, if the rating on the cord is exceeded because of the power requirements of one or more appliances being used on the cord.
Use an extension cord having a sufficient amp or wattage rating, if an extension cord is needed.
Q. Are the light bulbs the appropriate size and type for the lamp or fixture?
__ Yes __ No
A bulb of too high wattage or the wrong type may lead to fire through overheating. Ceiling fixtures, recessed lights, and "hooded" lamps will trap heat.
Replace with a bulb of the correct type and wattage. (If you do not know the correct wattage, contact the manufacturer of the fixture.)
Place halogen lamps away from curtains. These lamps become very hot and can cause a fire hazard.
Q. Are heaters which come with a 3-prong plug being used in a 3-hole outlet or with a properly attached adapter?
__Yes __ No
The grounding feature provided by a 3-hole receptacle or an adapter for a 2-hole receptacle is a safety feature designed to lessen the risk of shock.
Never defeat the grounding feature.
Use an adapter to connect the heater's 3-prong plug, if you do not have a 3-hole outlet. Make sure the adapter ground wire or tab is attached to the outlet.
Q. Are heaters placed where they can not be knocked over, and away from furnishings and flammable materials, such as curtains or rugs?
__Yes __ No
Heaters can cause fires or serious burns if they cause you to trip, if they are knocked over or if they are placed near home furnishings.
Relocate heaters away from passageways and flammable materials such as curtains, rugs, furniture or newspaper.
GROUND-FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
CIRCUIT BREAKER RECEPTACLE PLUG-IN
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) detects any loss (leakage) of electrical current in a circuit that might be flowing through a person using an electrical product. When such a loss is detected, the GFCI turns electricity off before severe injuries or electrocution can occur. (However, you may receive a painful shock during the time that it takes for the GFCI to cut off the electricity.)
GFCI wall outlets can be installed in place of standard outlets to protect against electrocution for just that outlet, or a series of outlets in the same branch.
A GFCI Circuit Breaker can be installed on some circuit breaker electrical panels to protect against electrocution, excessive leakage current and overcurrent for an entire branch circuit.
Plug-in GFCIs can be plugged into wall outlets where appliances will be used.
Q. Have you tested your GFCIs to be sure they still offers protection rom fatal electrical shock?
__Yes __ No
A GFCI can provide power without giving an indication that it is no longer providing shock protection. Be sure your GFCI still provides protection from fatal electric shock.
Test monthly. First plug a night light or lamp into the GFCI-protected wall outlet (the light should be turned on), then depress the "TEST" button on the GFCI. If the GFCI is working properly, the light should go out. There will be an indicator to show if it is working properly or not. If it is working, it will disconnect the power from the protected circuit or plug. If not, have the GFCI replaced. Reset the GFCI to restore power.
If the "RESET" button pops out but the light does not go out, the GFCI has been improperly wired and does not offer shock protection at that wall outlet. Contact a qualified electrician to correct any wiring errors.
PROBLEM: Electric shocks can be more serious in certain locations of the home such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements and garages where people can contact heating radiators, water pipes, electric heaters, electric stoves and water in sinks and bathtubs. If a person touches one of these and a faulty electrical appliance at the same time, they can receive a shock and may be electrocuted.
If you have a home without GFCIs, consult with a qualified electrician about adding this protection.
If you want to install some GFCI protection yourself, use plug-in units to protect individual wall outlets. Both two-conductor and three-conductor receptacle outlets can be protected with plug-in units.
You may have a newer home that is equipped with GFCIs in the home areas mentioned above.