Most Canadians use electricity every single day, all day. From heaters and electronics and outdoor tools and heating systems, we depend on it to maintain an efficient and healthy lifestyle. It's important to be aware of all the potential dangers of not using electric devices safely. Please review the below items and make sure you're doing everything you can to protect your home and your family.

Surge Protectors

Use ULC or CSA surge protectors on appliances, computers, receivers, stereo equipment, etc.

Don’t Overload the System

Don’t plug more components into an outlet than it is designed for and avoid using extension cords.

Water

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix. 

  • Don’t leave plugged-in appliances where they might fall in contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, never reach in to pull it out—even if it’s turned off. First turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance.
  • If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don’t use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
  • Avoid using electrical components around standing water spots like tubs, sinks, and washing machines.
  • Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions.

Outlets

Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs which can overheat and lead to fire. Replace any missing or broken wall plates and make sure to install safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.

Also make sure that your plugs fit your outlets. Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet; this could lead to an electrical shock. It’s also vital to never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit. Plugs should fit securely into outlets. Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances.

Electrical Safety Tests

Call your electrician for an electrical safety check.Make sure fusing and loadings are proper.

Trust the Experts

Working on DIY projects may put you at higher risk for electrical or water hazards.Only tackle projects you have experience with.

Cords

Make sure cords are in good condition – not frayed or cracked. Make sure they are placed out of traffic areas. Cords should never be nailed or stapled to the wall, baseboard or to another object. Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on them.

If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) can help prevent electrocution. They should be used in any area where water and electricity may come into contact. When a GFCI senses current leakage in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. It then interrupts power fast enough to help prevent serious injury from electrical shock. Test GFCIs according to the manufacturer’s instructions monthly and after major electrical storms to make sure they are working properly.

Bulbs

Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended; if you don’t know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat.

Circuits

Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating for their circuit. If you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same size fuse.

Electronics & Outdoor Tools

  • Check to see that entertainment/computer equipment is in good condition and working properly. Look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors. Use a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
  • Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housings. If damaged, stop using it immediately. Repair it or replace it.
  • Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use when working outdoors and rated for the power needs of your tools.
  • Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use. When using ladders, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.

Electrical Storm

During an electrical storm, do not use appliances (i.e., hairdryers, toasters and radios) or telephones (except in an emergency); do not take a bath or shower; keep batteries on hand for flashlights and radios in case of a power outage; and use surge protectors on electronic devices, appliances, phones, fax machines and modems.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat. Keep space heaters at least 3 ft. away from any combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture and rugs. Don’t use in rooms where children are unsupervised and remember to turn off and unplug when not in use. Do not use space heaters with extension cords; plug directly into an outlet on a relatively unburdened circuit.

Floor Lamps

Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials. Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time and never use torchiere lamps in children’s bedrooms or playrooms. Consider using cooler fluorescent floor lamps.