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Outdoor Electrical Safety Checklist

Word Count: 331
  • (CITY, ST) — Check outlets for loose–fitting plugs. Replace missing or broken wall plates so wiring and components are not exposed. If you have young children at home, cover unused outlets with plastic safety caps.
  • Never force plugs into outlets. Don’t remove the grounding pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet.  Avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs.
  • Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked, placed under carpets or rugs, or located in high traffic areas. Do not nail or staple them to walls, floors or other objects.
  • Use extension cords only on a temporary basis – not as permanent household wiring. Make sure they have safety closures to protect children from shock and mouth burns.
  • Check wattage to ensure light bulbs match the fixture requirements. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage ratings than recommended. Screw them in securely.
  • Make sure outlets in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, workshop, basement and garage have GFCIs. Test them monthly to ensure they’re working properly.
  • Make sure fuses are properly sized for the circuit they are protecting. If you don’t know the correct rating, have an electrician identify and label the correct size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same size you are removing.
  • If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or has given you an electrical shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. Look for cracks or damage in wiring and connectors. Use surge protectors to protect electronics.
  • Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, wires, or loose lighting fixtures. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls. Immediately shut off, then professionally replace light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that spark and flicker.
  • As you continue to upgrade your home with more lighting, appliances and electronics, your home’s service capacity may become overburdened. If fuses blow or trip frequently, have a professional determine the appropriate service requirements for your home.

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