Home Safety Tips
Protect yourself from hazards around the house with these helpful tips.
Protect yourself from electricity’s potential danger. Here are some ways you can ensure your home is safe.
- Make sure extension cords used outdoors are rated for outdoor use. A red UL (Underwriter's Laboratory) label indicates that they are suitable for outdoor and indoor use.
- Discard decorations with worn or frayed electrical cords, damaged plugs, or loose connections.
- Make sure all unused outlets that are accessible to small children have safety covers.
- Make sure your plugs fit your outlets. Never remove the ground pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet. This could lead to electric shock.
Electric Appliances and Tools
- If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER pull it out or unplug it, even if it’s turned off, without first turning off the power source at the main electrical panel.
- If you use a standby generator, be sure it’s installed and wired properly. Never connect a generator directly to your main electric panel. Without the correct safety mechanisms, power from the generator could flow onto the power line and cause injury.
- Safety Tips For Using A Generator
- Replace outlets in which plugs fit loosely. Worn outlets can overheat and lead to fire.
- Securely screw in lightbulbs - loose bulbs can overheat.
- Don’t run cords under rugs or rest furniture on them. They may be damaged or overheat.
- Change smoke alarm batteries regularly. Many people use the switch to and from daylight savings time as a reminder to change batteries.
Space Heater Safety Tips
- Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat. These devices are not intended to replace the home's heating system.
- Never leave space heaters unattended; turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
- Place the heater on a level floor surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater.
- Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from household combustibles like fuel, spray cans, paint, drapes, sofas and blankets.
- Plug portable heaters directly into outlets.
- Do not overload circuits. Make sure the unit is not plugged into the same circuit as other electric appliances.
- Check to make sure the heater is clean and in good condition.
- Replace older models with newer, safer models that carry the UL (Underwriter's Laboratory) label.
- Always check and follow any manufacturer's instructions pertaining to the use of an extension cord.
NATURAL GAS SAFETY
If you smell natural gas, don’t stay inside. Leave the home or business and contact your natural gas provider.
More than 60 million customers in the United States use natural gas in homes or businesses, according to the American Gas Association. Natural gas provides about 24 percent of all the energy that is used across the nation.
Natural gas is a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons – mainly methane – formed naturally in the earth, often in areas with petroleum deposits. Other substances found in natural gas, such as butane, propane and ethane, are removed before consumers use the methane gas that we call natural gas in appliances or equipment.
- Put out all open flames.
- Don't smoke or light any matches.
- Don't touch any electrical light or appliance switches.
- Don't use your phone as it may cause a spark.
- Leave the building and call your utility provider from somewhere else, away from the gas odor. As you leave, open doors and windows if you can do so quickly and easily. Because natural gas is lighter than air, it rises and will dissipate rapidly, where it can escape into the open air.
- Stay away from your building until you've been told that it is safe to return.
Look For The Blue Flame
If pilot lights and burners have a steady, blue flame, they are operating correctly (the only exception - flames from decorative gas fire logs are usually yellow).
Did You Know?
In its native state, natural gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless. A chemical that contains sulfur is added to natural gas, which makes it have an odor. Many people describe the odor similar to rotten eggs.