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Frequently Asked Questions About Electrical Issues

Electrical Issues

How can I reduce the risk of electrical accidents or fire in my home or office?

  • Avoid using multi-plug sockets. Check behind your TV; are the DVD player, CD player, cable box and stereo all plugged into each other? Before you add that video game console, ask yourself, "Am I playing with fire?"
  • Check electrical cords for worn spots or frayed wires. Don't mend it; replace it! Homemade repairs are a common source of fires.
  • Check that all electrical items in your home are certified by a nationally recognized independent testing lab such as CSA Group, ETL, MET Labs or Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Don't place power cords under carpets, rugs or furniture and never nail or staple cords to walls, baseboards or other objects.
  • Keep flammable materials away from lamps and heaters. Place electric heaters away from well-traveled areas where someone might trip and fall.
  • Place electrical appliances a safe distance from tubs and sinks.
  • Use extension cords sparingly and only for short amounts of time. Too many appliances plugged into one cord causes overheating. One of every six home fires is started by overheated wires.

What are some things I can do to make my house more energy-efficient?

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Provide task lighting over desks, tool benches, etc., so that activities can be carried on without illuminating entire rooms.
  • Clean your light fixtures regularly.
  • If possible, put lamps in corners of rooms, where they can reflect light from two wall surfaces instead of one.
  • Install photoelectric controls or timers to make sure that outdoor lighting is turned off during the day.
  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs in fixtures that are on for more than two hours a day. Compact fluorescent bulbs will give an incandescent bulb's warm, soft light, while using up to 75% less electricity. They also last about 10 times longer. Typically, a 23-watt, compact fluorescent bulb can replace a 90- or 100-watt incandescent bulb.
  • Use dimmable bulbs when possible.

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