Unsafe use of electricity can be a ticking time bomb! An electrical fire can happen at any time. Each year in London a significant proportion of fire emergencies stem from electrical faults.
Electrical Do's & Don'ts
- Follow-up when a fuse or circuit breaker blows. Don't just reset the breaker or replace the fuse. Find out what caused the problem.
- Purchase appliances that are approved by the Canadian Standards Association or ULC. Appliances without CSA/ULC approval could be unsafe.
- Put lamps on level surfaces, away from curtains or other flammable items.
- Allow adequate ventilation around electronic components that generate heat, such as TV's and audio equipment.
- Unplug small appliances like toasters and coffeemakers when you're not using them.
- Use only weatherproof lights and other electrical fixtures outdoors.
- Be aware that heat generating appliances draw more power than others.
- Replace a fuse with one that has a rating higher than required.
- Use appliances or lamps with cracked or frayed cords.
- Run extension cords under carpets or mats.
- Do not crimp the cord.
- Overload an outlet. Prevent the dreaded "Octopus Outlet".
- Put heat generating appliances closer than 1 metre to anything that can burn.
- Use light bulbs that exceed a lamp's maximum wattage.
- Clip off the round grounding prong from an electrical plug.
- Use an electrical device or appliance after liquid has been spilled on it, before having it checked thoroughly.
- Recurring blown fuses or circuit breakers point to a fault in your home's electrical system.
- A burning smell or rubbery odor from an appliance.
- Discoloration of wall outlets.
- Flickering lights.
Don't Overload Electrical Outlets
- This means the notorious "outlet octopus" must be avoided. That's when several electrical cords are plugged into the same outlet. Avoid plugging more than one appliance into an outlet. There should not be more than two operating appliances plugged into the same circuit. Heat generating appliances such as toasters and electric frying pans use a lot of current. If you overload the circuit, it will get hot and possibly short out or catch fire. Have damaged cords or outlets fixed immediately. If water gets into an electrical appliance, have it serviced before you use it again.