Energy Efficiency Resources
Energy Saving Tips - Safety
Your electrical system doesn't have to be dangerous if you follow the proper procedures. Here's some general safety advice for your home and farm.
Around the home ...
- Check outlets for loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat and cause fires. Replace broken wall plates and use safety covers on outlets within children's reach.
- Replace frayed or cracked cords. Place cords out of traffic areas, do not nail or staple them to anything and do not set furniture on them.
- Check extension cords for overheating. Don't use extension cords on more than a temporary basis, since they are not as safe as household wiring. Don't run them under furniture or rugs.
- Use the proper plug for the outlet. Never force a plug into an outlet, but do look for a snug fit. Don't overload outlets. Also, if the plug has three prongs and the outlet has only two, use an adapter rather than cutting the third prong off. When you're using a three-prong adapter, be sure to ground it properly by attaching its tab to the screw holding on the outlet's face plate.
- Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). These can prevent electrocutions in areas where electricity and water may come into contact, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Test GFCIs regularly to make sure they're working. It could save a life.
- Match the wattage of light bulbs and their sockets. Check the bulbs in your house and replace them if the bulb wattage is higher. Screw bulbs in securely to prevent overheating.
- Match circuit breakers and fuses with their circuits. An electrician can tell the proper size of fuse if you don't know. Never replace a fuse with one that's not the right size.
- Water and electricity don't mix. Don't put electrical appliances nearer to water than they have to be, and unplug them when they're not in use. If an appliance has gotten wet, unplug it and have a repair person check it before you use it again.
- If an appliance gets the habit of blowing a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker, or if has given an electric shock, have it repaired or replaced.
- Check entertainment and computer equipment for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors. Use surge protectors.
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Around the yard or farm ...
- Inspect power tools and electric mowers for frayed, broken or cracked parts of the electrical system, including cords, plugs and housings.
- Use tools and extension cords that are intended to be used outside. Don't let tools get wet.
- Unplug tools that are not in use, because they may have parts that remain electrically live otherwise. Don't use or store power tools near water sources.
- Don't use tools outside in the rain.
- Don't carry an appliance by its cord. Pull the plug; never pull the cord.
- Be careful when using metal ladders, which conduct electricty. Watch for overhead power lines and wires.
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Especially for the farm or other workplace ...
- Make sure all three-wire tools and appliances with flexible cords are properly grounded. Protect cords and cables from physical damage.
- Protect live parts of electrical equipment from accidental contact.
- Identify circuits with their fuses or circuit boards and record them in the panelboard directory.
- Ground exposed parts of fixed equipment that could be energized.
- Make sure ground paths from equipment and enclosures are permanent and continuous.
- Keep slack in flexible cords to prevent tension on terminals.
- Clear blockages on equipment ventilation openings.
- Locate circuit breakers and fuses where they can be reached quickly and easily.
- Install floor electrical outlets to be flush with the floor.
- Use extension cords only temporarily.
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Central Iowa Power Cooperative • P.O. Box 2517 Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2517
Phone: (319) 366-8011 Fax:(319) 366-8626 • Contact Us