Wake Forest, NC— All day, we rely on electricity for almost everything from heating our breakfast in the morning to setting our alarm at night. Oftentimes, we forget that electricity can potentially be hazardous. There are many steps we can take, however, to practice proper safety when it comes to electricity. May is National Electrical Safety Month, so here you’ll find some great tips to keep you and your loved ones safe in and around the home.

In the Home:
– When using appliances in the bathroom, such as hair dryers or curling irons, be sure that no water is near and that the item is unplugged as soon as it is no longer being used. Also ensure the outlets in your bathroom are equipped with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which monitors electricity flowing in a circuit and trips the circuit if there’s an imbalance.

– Unplug all kitchen appliances when not in use, such as the toaster and coffee maker, and store them in a safe and level place to prevent them from being knocked over.

– When unplugging anything from an outlet, be sure to pull by the plug instead of the cord.

– Put outlet covers on outlets not being used to prevent curious children from trying to put fingers or other objects into the outlets.

– Replace any electrical cords that are fraying or cracking and regularly check cords for damage.

– Never overload an electrical outlet. Stressing the system can create a fire hazard. When too much current is drawn from the circuit or more than one outlet is wired to a single circuit, the outlet could potentially catch fire.

– When replacing light bulbs, check what wattage is needed on the label inside the light fixture or lamp. Additionally, be sure that lamps are sitting away from curtains or other materials that could easily catch fire and that they are placed on stable surfaces.

Outside the Home:
– If there is a downed power line nearby, leave the area immediately and call 911. If others are around, let them know that they need to stay away.

– “Call Before You Dig.” Dial 811 before starting a digging project, and workers will be sent to your home to mark utility lines in your yard. This service is free, and it has the potential to save your life.

– Never use electrical equipment near any wet areas, such as pools or ponds.

This National Electrical Safety Month, take the time to be cautious and check your home for potential risks. If caution is not taken, electricity can lead to costly damages, injuries and even death. Regularly check for electrical hazards year-round in order keep your home safe.

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