At-home electrical safety tips

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Use electricity safely at home

Follow our simple electrical safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe at home. Refer to our visual guide to electrical safety tips.

General tips

  • Always call a certified electrician to do any wiring in your home.
  • Call BC One Call at 1 800 474 6886 before digging in your yard.

Electrical panels, fuses, and outlets

  • If a fuse blows, turn off all appliances and lights that are on the circuit before changing the fuse.
  • Use a flashlight. Don't try to replace a fuse in the dark.
  • Replace a fuse with another that has an identical rating.
  • Loose fuses can overheat. If you have plug-type fuses, you should periodically check to make sure they're snug.
  • Never replace a fuse with a coin or other metal object.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters on all outlets located outdoors.

Cords, extension cords, and plugs

  • Pull the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting an electrical device.
  • Never remove a plug when your hands are wet, or if you’re touching a metal object.
  • The third prong of a plug exists for safety reasons. Do not break it off or bypass it.
  • Use only three-pronged extension cords outdoors.
  • Keep cords away from sources of heat and water.
  • Cords and plugs that show signs of wear or damage need to be replaced. Stop using them immediately.
  • Do not place a cord under a carpet, through a doorway, or anywhere that it could be stepped on.
  • Always use extension cords that are properly rated for the amount of electricity you'll be using.
  • Extension cords are intended for temporary use. If you need a permanent solution, call an electrician.
  • Coil up excess cord length and keep the coil intact with plastic ties or Velcro straps.
  • Use a certified power bar if you need to plug multiple items into an outlet.

Electrical devices, appliances, and power tools

  • Unplug the toaster before prying out that stuck toast.
  • Unplug your electrical gadgets when they're not in use.
  • Keep your electrical devices away from sources of water.
  • If you use an electric lawnmower, only cut the grass when it's dry and never when it’s raining.
  • Insist on appliances and tools that have been certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) seal or another accredited Standards Council of Canada association.

Electricity safety near gas supply

  • If you smell gas don’t touch any electrical switches as it could cause a spark. Go outside and call FortisBC's 24-hour Emergency Line at 1-800-663-9911.
  • Always use qualified electricity and gas contractors to install your services and ask them to ensure the services are installed the right distance apart.
  • Make sure your services are inspected and maintained regularly. Don’t try any maintenance yourself, always use a qualified contractor.
  • You can find qualified contractors through BC Safety Authority.