Electrical Safety

If you experience any of the following, contact your building supervisor or manager.

  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping breakers.
  • A tingling feeling when touching an electrical appliance, cord or extension cord.
  • Discolored or warm electrical outlets.
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an electrical appliance or outlet.
  • Flickering or dimming lights.
  • Sparks from an outlet.

Safety Tips

  • Keep unprotected cords out of the path of foot traffic and furniture to prevent fraying, overheating and tripping.
  • Do not run cords through doorways, windows, walls, ceilings or floors.
  • Never run a cord under a rug. It prevents the cord from releasing its heat and could lead to a fire.
  • Don't leave cords dangling anywhere where they can be pulled down and tripped over.
  • Make sure there is no crimping or pressure on cords, and don't force them into small spaces or behind furniture. Over time this could lead to a breakdown of the cord's insulation. When using cord-bundling devices, such as Cable Turtles or plastic spiral wire wrap, avoid cramming too many cords together. Keep it loose.
  • Never use staples or nails to attach cords or cord bundlers to a surface, such as a baseboard or a wall. They could puncture the insulation and create a shock or fire hazard.
  • Choose the proper cord for the application in which it is used. Make sure it is the proper length and that the wire size is appropriate for the current load being used. Also never exceed the current rating of the cord.
  • Don't use an adapter to get an extension cord with a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet.
  • Don't plug extension cords together. Instead, use one long enough for your purpose.
  • Don't use an extension cord to plug in a power strip or vice versa. Instead, buy a strip with a longer cord.
  • If a cord is hot to the touch, remove it from service.
  • Appliances must be plugged directly into outlets. These include refrigerators, mini-refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, air conditioning units, dishwashers, portable electric space heaters, dryers, washers and freezers.
  • Purchase and use only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory.

Electrical Safety Handouts from the National Fire Protection Agency