May is National Electrical Safety Month. AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) offers the following Residential Safety Checklist to assist customers in making their homes and offices more electrically safe this month and throughout the year.
Check for outlets that have loose fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire. Replace any missing or broken wall plates. Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.
Make sure cords are in good condition — not frayed or cracked. Make sure they are placed out of high traffic areas. Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest furniture on them.
Check to see that cords are not overloaded. Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intended as permanent household wiring.
Make sure the plug fits the outlet. 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.
Check the wattage of all bulbs in lighting fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the fixture size. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat.
WATER AND ELECTRICITY DON’T MIX:
Don’t leave plugged in appliances where they might fall in contact with water. If the appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out – even if it’s turned off. Turn off the power source at the circuit breaker and then unplug the appliance.
If an appliance repeatedly blows or trips a circuit breaker, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. Check to see that all electrical equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors. Use a surge protector with certification seal.
Electric-powered mowers and power tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass or in damp conditions. Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Since metal ladders conduct electricity, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.