Electrical wiring hazards and tips

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  • Avoid overloading outlets or circuits
  • Place child safe covers in all unused electrical outlets.
  • Keep unprotected cords out of the path of foot traffic and furniture to prevent fraying, overheating and tripping.
  • Never run a cord under a rug. It prevents the cord from releasing its heat and could lead to a fire.
  • Don't leave cords dangling anywhere where they can be pulled down and tripped over.
  • Make sure there is no crimping or pressure on cords, and don't force them into small spaces or behind furniture. Over time, this could lead to a breakdown of the cord's insulation. When using cord-bundling devices, such as Cable Turtles or plastic spiral wire wrap, avoid cramming too many cords together. 
  • Use CSA approved power bars when appropriate, but do not overload. These are typically rated for 13 AMP circuits only; if used on a 15 AMP circuit, power bars may cause an overload leading to fire.
  • Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. If permanent wiring is required, have additional outlets installed by a licensed electrician. Extension cords should not be linked together - instead, use an extension cord that is long enough to do the job. 
  • Circuits which trip regularly should be promptly corrected.
  • Use a qualified electrician to correct all electrical problems.
  • Replace cords and wiring if they are frayed or cracked.
  • Don't use an adapter to get an extension cord with a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet.
  • Air conditioners and other heavy appliances should be plugged directly into an outlet. If that is not possible, use a 14 gauge, three-wire grounding-type appliance extension cord.
  • Avoid overloading a circuit with "octopus outlets". If additional outlets or circuits are required, have them installed by a licensed electrician.
  • When replacing a fuse, make sure it is of the right amperage. Substituting a higher amp fuse where a smaller one is required can pose a fire hazard. 
  • If the cord is hot to the touch, don't use it.

A house fire can become life-threatening within three minutes.

Fire prevention and investigation
Phone: 780-449-9651
Email: Fireprevention@strathcona.ca

Last updated: Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Page ID: 38999