Safety Tips

Electrical Safety Tips

Each year, thousands of homes and businesses are ravaged by electrical fires caused by improper wiring, faulty fixtures and damaged electrical connections. To avoid electrical hazards and prevent related injuries and property loss, Blue Sky Electric urges you to follow these important electrical safety tips:

  • Regularly check your home or business for damaged outlets, frayed electrical cords, flickering lights, misused extension cords and overloaded electrical outlets. When usage exceeds recommended wattage or electrical equipment is damaged, fires or shock may occur.
  • Place fire extinguishers in key areas of your home or business. Remember to check expiration dates frequently, and replace extinguishers as necessary.
  • Electrical projects can be dangerous! Rather than attempting them yourself, hire an experienced, licensed electrical contractor to complete repairs and installations.
  • Test all Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s) regularly to ensure that they’re operating safely and correctly. First, press the reset button on the GFCI before plugging in a small lamp. Press the GFCI “test” button. Your lamp should turn off. To restart the flow of electricity, push the “reset” button. Your lamp should turn back on.
  • To eliminate lighting hazards, do not exceed recommended fixture wattage. Look inside the fixture to determine correct wattage when it’s time to replace the bulb.

Power Outage Tips

  • Turn off lights, appliances and electronic devices to reduce damage caused by a sudden electrical surge. Leave only one small lamp on. It will alert you when electrical service is restored.
  • Use flashlights during a power outage instead of candles. Candles are especially dangerous if there are unexpected carbon monoxide emissions in your home—since they could spark a fire.
  • Determine whether your entire house or a portion of your house has lost power. If only a portion of your home is dark, look for a tripped breaker. Flip the tripped breaker switch and check to see if power is restored.
  • If your entire home is without power, contact your electrical provider. The company will have information about block- or community-wide outages.
  • If flipping the breaker switch or contacting your electrical provider does not solve your outage problem, avoid putting your family at risk. Contact a licensed electrical contractor immediately. You may also wish to take refuge at a friend or family’s home until the problem is solved.
  • NEVER operate a generator indoors, in your basement, or in a closed garage. To avoid toxic carbon monoxide buildup, generators should always be used outdoors. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before powering up any generator model.
  • If you are outdoors during a power outage, do not approach or drive over downed power lines. Call 911 if a damaged power line is causing immediate danger. Otherwise, alert your local utility company about the damage.

Holiday Safety Tips

 To safely display holiday lights without presenting a danger to your home or family, remember the following tips:

  • Before hanging holiday lights, examine each strand for frayed wires, cracked bulbs or other damage. Replace damaged light strings.
  • Make sure that all holiday lights have been tested and rated for safety by the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL). Avoid purchasing used light strands that do not include a box with manufacturer’s specifications and safety rating data.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions about indoor/outdoor light use. The manufacturer may also specify how many strands can be safely used together. Typically you should not attach more than three strands of holiday lights together.
  • Do not overload circuits, and plug all lights into a GFCI-protected outlet to avoid shock. Use a surge protector when plugging in multiple light strands.
  • Unplug holiday lighting if you’ll be sleeping or away from home.
  • Don’t cover lighting wires with rugs or furniture. If wiring becomes hot or damaged, it could start a fire. Instead, keep wires exposed; running them along the base of a wall so they will not trip passersby.
  • If you have small children, cover unused outlets with safe plastic caps.
  • To avoid leaving holiday lights on by mistake, use lighting timers for indoor and outdoor holiday lights.