Electricity Safety in Your Home

Newfoundland Power wants you to stay safe. While electricity is an extremely valuable form of energy it must be treated with care and respect. If handled carelessly, it can result in serious property damage, injurySafetyInsidetheHome or death. Every year, electricity-related incidents in Canada cause thousands of fires, many deaths by electrocution and hundreds of hospitalizations (for electrical injuries excluding burns).

Electricity makes life much more convenient, comfortable and fun. Refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, radios, TVs, stereos and computers are all made possible by electricity. However, electricity is continuously seeking all paths to ground through conductors, such as metal, wet wood, water, or your body. Your body is 70% water and therefore an excellent conductor for electricity. Here’s a few tips to stay safe at home:

  • Keep appliances, especially hair dryers, away from bathtubs, puddles, sinks and wet hands. Wet skin increases your risk of shock, so always unplug an appliance before cleaning it; even if it is turned off, it can still shock.
  • If you do not have them, ask a licensed electrician to install ground fault circuit devices (GFCI) in your bathrooms, kitchen, garage and some other places like basement and outdoor outlets. GFCI monitors the flow of electric current and stops the current to avoid danger if an imbalance occurs.
  • Keep anything that could burn (e.g. curtains) away from light bulbs, heaters, portable heaters or toasters. If you’ve ever touched a hot light bulb, you know how hot it can get; up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Turn off heating and cooking appliances before leaving home.
  • Don’t overload outlets. If you must use an extension cord temporarily, match the amperage or wattage limits marked on the cord with your appliance. Don’t use cords that are frayed or have cracked insulation or damaged plugs. Extension cords can be a big help, but if not used properly they can lead to fires.

Think Safe. Live Safe. Because, electricity waits to leap into action at the flick of a switch.