Safety with Electrical Appliances

Potential of Electrical Shock


The potential for electrical shock or fire from an electrical appliance is very real, especially when safety recommendations are not followed. Before buying an appliance, look for the label of a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual. Keep space heaters, stoves, irons, and other heat-producing appliances away from furniture, curtains, bedding or towels.  Also, give televisions, stereos and computers plenty of air-space so they won't overheat.  Never use an appliance with a damaged cord, and be sure to use three-pronged electrical devices in three-pronged outlets.  These outlets may not be available in older homes, so use a three-pronged adapter, and screw the tab onto the grounded outlet box cover.  Never cut off or bend the grounding pin of the plug.  If you have a polarized plug (one side wider than the other), never file it down or make it reversible. Keep electrical cords out of the path of traffic.  If you put cords under carpets or rugs, wires can be damaged and might result in fire. 

Electrical Cords and Appliances


An electrical cord should never be wrapped around an appliance until the appliance has cooled.  Because hair care equipment is often used in bathrooms near sinks and bathtubs, it is extremely important to be especially careful that the appliances do not come in contact with water.  If one drops into water, do not touch it until you have pulled the wall plug.  Protect young children by putting plastic inserts in receptacle outlets not in use to keep them from putting anything into outlets.  Never put a kitchen knife or other metal object in a toaster to remove stuck bread or bagels unless it is unplugged and cooled.  Install television and radio antennas where they cannot fall across power lines. Use caution when operating a tree-pruning device or using a metal ladder around power lines. 

Inspect Appliances Regularly


Inspect appliances regularly to make sure they operate properly.  If an appliance smells funny when in use, makes unusual sounds or the cord feels warm to touch, repair or replace the unit.  Don't repair it yourself unless you are qualified.   Keep appliances in a cool, dry place to prevent rusting.