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Indoor Safety

Many accidents and injuries can be prevented with attention to basic safety principles.

Click here to download Cleco's guide to electrical safety.

Keeping children and pets safe from electrical hazards

  • Teach children to recognize "Danger-High Voltage" signs and to stay away from power lines, substations and pad-mounted transformers. (Pad-mounted transformers are encased in metal on slabs of concrete in areas where there is underground electrical wiring.)
  • Do not let children climb trees near power lines.
  • Electricity can travel down the strings of kites or balloons that become tangled in power lines and cause shock or fire. These toys should be used in open areas, away from overhead power lines. If a toy becomes tangled in power lines or inside a substation, call the local electric company. Do not try to retrieve it.
  • Keep metallic balloons inside. They are highly conductive.
  • Be sure electric cords are in places where children and pets cannot reach them.

Signs of an overloaded outlet

  • Warm to the touch
  • Outlets that are discolored
  • Circuit breakers that frequently trip
  • Fuses that frequently blow
  • Burned insulation odors
  • Extension cord that are warm to the touch

Indoor Safety Tips

  • Water and electricity do not mix. Make sure that you keep appliances and anything with electrical current away from water.
  • Never stick a fork or other utensil  in a toaster. Doing so can result in electric shock.
  • Keep electrical cords away from children, and cover outlets with protectors when you're not using them. Unplug small appliances when you are not using them. And don't leave cords dangling from the counter.
  • Don't run cords under rugs or furniture or attach them to walls or baseboards with nails or staples.
  • If you use extension cords, use those that are moisture proof and have good insulation. Your extension cord must be able to handle the current required by your household appliances or tools. If your cord feels hot, stop using it immediately.
  • Never overload an outlet or extension cord.
  • Extension cords should not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Uncoil an extension cord fully before use. Make sure the amperage is adequate.
  • Protect flexible cords and cables from physical damage.
  • Keep slack in flexible cords to prevent tension on electrical terminals.
  • To reduce the risks of electric shock, make sure that Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection is provided for outlets at kitchen counters, in bathrooms and at outdoor receptacles. Test GFCIs monthly to make sure they are working properly.
  • Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures and lamps to make sure they are the correct wattage. Replace bulbs that have a higher wattage than recommended to prevent overheating that could lead to a fire.
  • Determine the reason that a fuse operated or circuit breaker tripped before replacing or resetting.
  • Check to see that fuses are the correct size for the circuit. Replacing with a larger size fuse can present a serious fire hazard.
  • When using an electric blanket, use caution. Tucking the blanket in or placing additional covering on top can cause excessive heat buildup and start a fire.
  • Sleeping with the heating pad on is also dangerous, as it can cause serious burns, even at relatively low settings.
  • Portable electric heaters should be kept at least three feet away from flammable materials such as bedding clothing, rugs and draperies.
  • Any work done, no matter how minor or temporary, should be performed according to all applicable codes and standards.
  • Before a job is started, check electric cords for wear. Never yank, kink or bend cords, and store them loosely coiled in a dry place..
  • If a piece of equipment gives off a mild shock, unusual heat or odd smells, don't use it.