The following suggestions can help prevent fires and avoid serious injury or death.


  • Be sure to unplug all heat-producing appliances like coffee makers, broilers, toasters, irons and heaters when not in use to eliminate a potential fire hazard.
  • Heating pads and electric blankets can cause fires. Never roll an electric blanket and never leave a heating pad on for more than 30 minutes.
  • Make sure all appliances have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listing.
  • Operating or touching electrical appliances while standing or sitting in water can cause electrocution.
  • Avoid using blow dryers, curling irons, radios, televisions or electric razors around sinks or while in bathtubs.
  • After washing a car, do not use electric vacuum cleaners or buffers while in the wet area. Move the vehicle to a dry location before using any electrical appliances, to avoid a shock hazard.
  • Never stick metal objects or tools into an appliance unless it is unplugged.
  • Place all lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage.
  • The bulbs of halogen torchiere floor lamps reach temperatures of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is heat that is intense enough to ignite wood, plastic or cloth on contact. Monitor the use of these products closely, don't exceed wattage recommendations, and keep them clear of combustible materials. Even with a protective guard or grill placed over the bulb, these lamps pose a risk.

Extension Cords

  • Extension cords are designed for temporary use only. If you must use an extension cord, do not overload them with several appliances or use too many cords in one socket. Do not string multiple extension cords together.
  • Make sure you use the proper gauge extension cord for the equipment it is operating, especially with power tools and high-wattage appliances.
  • Avoid running extension cords under carpeting, rugs, through doorways or across walkways. To avoid tripping or electrical shorting hazards, protect cords routed across walkways with the proper shield.
  • Don’t staple to walls or ceilings, which can damage the insulation.
  • Electrical cords should be free of knots and kinks. Have damaged plugs and frayed or worn cords repaired immediately.
  • When using outdoor appliances, use only approved exterior extension cords, not the household type normally used indoors.