Many accidents and injuries can be prevented with attention to basic safety principles. Learn more by reading Cleco's electrical safety brochure.
Electrical Appliances, Heaters & Light Bulbs
- Water and electricity do not mix. Make sure you keep appliances and anything with electrical current away from water.
- Unplug small appliances when you are not using them and don't leave cords dangling from the counter.
- Never stick a fork or other type of utensil in a toaster. Doing so can result in electric shock.
- Unplug irons before leaving them unattended.
- Keep anything that may burn at least 3 feet away from space heaters.
- Be sure to turn off space heaters when leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Portable electric heaters should be kept at least three feet away from flammable materials such as bedding clothing, rugs and draperies.
- 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.
- 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.
Electrical Cords & Outlets
- Keep electric cords away from children and pets and cover outlets with protectors when you're not using them.
- Don't run electric cords under rugs or furniture or attach them to walls or baseboards with nails or staples.
- 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.
- 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 electric outlet or extension cord. An outlet maybe overloaded if it’s warm to the touch or discolored, circuit breakers frequently trip, fuses frequently blow, there’s a burned insulation odor or the extension cord is warm to the touch.
- Extension cords should not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
- Uncoil an extension cord fully before use and keep slack in flexible cords to prevent tension on electrical terminals.
- 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.
Electrical Switches & Equipment
- Use Indoor Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) for extra protection. They monitor the flow of current to and from appliances. If there’s an imbalance in the flow, the GFCI will quickly cut power to prevent serious injury. Use GFCIs in bathrooms, garages, near kitchen sinks and outdoors.
- Determine the reason that a fuse blew 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.
- Any electrical work, no matter how minor or temporary should be performed according to all applicable codes and standards.
- If a piece of equipment gives off a mild shock, unusual heat or has an odd smell, don't use it.