Be safe around electricity. Learn what you can do to prevent electrical emergencies, accidents, and fires. Some simple tips and a checklist posted on your fridge can make all the difference.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

Never, ever place outlets so close to a faucet or sink that outlets could be accidentally splashed with water or touched with a wet bare hand. Electricity loves water as water propels the charge and current to and through everything the water touches. Sparks can result when outlets get wet, and wet people can conduct the full charge from an outlet. Make sure all of your outlets and switches are far away from water. If your home was built oddly and you have switches or outlets too close to a water source, try to plug the outlets with plug-in outlet protectors and use a switch cover for the switches.

Have the Right Extinguisher for Electrical Fires

You cannot use water on electrical fires. Remember, electricity uses water to move and spread. An electrical fire on which you dump water causes the electricity and fire to spread very quickly. Instead, invest in a special fire extinguisher meant for electrical fires. Look for the Class C rating. Place one in the kitchen and another on the other floors of your home where you can grab it quickly. Have these extinguishers checked by a fire department or fire marshal annually to make sure they will work when you might need them.

Check All Cords for Fraying

Pets love chewing on cords. If you have a rodent problem in the house, rodents will chew on cords too. For this reason, check all cords regularly. Frayed cords can start an electrical fire or electrocution if you accidentally pick up and touch a frayed cord. Consider replacing the cords or ask an electrician to fix the cords for you. Electrical tape can help, but you should avoid using that appliance or device until the cord is replaced.

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