Apr 13,2007 00:00
Your home is your castle, whether you live in a tiny studio apartment in the city or a sprawling mansion in the suburbs. But is your castle really as safe and secure as you think?
Don’t overload outlets: With power strips and surge protectors, it’s all too easy to add more appliances to an outlet than it was designed to handle. By overloading circuits you can create a fire hazard.
Outlets and Switches: Replace any outlet or switch that has broken parts or cracks, feels warm to the touch, or has plugs that hang loose.
Power Cords and Extension Cords: Examine power and extension cords for fraying or cracking. Replace taped-over cords, or those showing wear. Never run cords or extensions under carpets, rugs, or furniture, where damage might be hidden.
Use of Power Tools: Don’t use power tools, even if they are properly grounded, in wet or damp spots.
Install GFCIs and Test Them Monthly: GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) have prevented hundreds of electrocutions and untold numbers of injuries since the early 1970s. The National Electrical Code requires GFCI-equipped outlets in rooms with a water source or damp ground such as kitchens, bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms, crawlspaces, and in outdoor locations like hot tubs or poolside, where they should be equipped with weatherproof covers. Testing them is simple. Just follow these three easy steps: