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Get electrical safety advice and easy-to-follow tips to ensure you and your loved ones are safe from electrical injury inside your home.
- Purchase electrical products that have a recognized Canadian approval mark (it will be on the product label or in the description). It shows that the product was tested, and it meets safety standards.
- Only purchase electrical products from reputable sources and retail outlets.
- Look at the fine details of the product information. Typos may be a sign of a cheap or counterfeit product.
- Report unsafe electrical products to ESA. If your electrical item is unsafe, or does not have a certification mark, do not use it, and return to the seller.
- Make sure you safely use the right extension cord for your needs.
- Do check the power capacity of your cord to be sure it’s the same or greater than the item you’re planning to plug in. Don’t make do with a lower-capacity cord.
- Be sure to use a heavy-duty extension cord for electric power tools.
- Use grounded (three-pronged) cords and never remove the grounding pin from the plug. It’s there to protect you. Throw out old two-pronged extension cords hanging around.
- Don’t string multiple extension cords together. It is unsafe and will reduce their power capacity, so your electronic tools or gadgets won’t work properly.
- Use extension cords as long-term power sources. If you need ongoing power, hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to install permanent wiring and outlets. Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor near you.
- Do not Staple or nail extension cords in place, it can damage the cord.
Portable electric space heaters provide supplemental heat in our homes and workplaces. Fires due to space heaters usually involve them not having adequate safety features; placing them near combustibles; and not properly plugging them in.
To decrease the risk of fire resulting from the misuse of portable heaters, follow the guidelines below before selecting and using a portable electric space heater.
- Buy your heater from reputable sources and retail outlets.
- Ensure the heater has a recognized Canadian approval mark from an accredited certification agency (it will be on the label or description). The approval mark proves the heater was tested and meets the required safety standards.
- Ensure cords and heaters are in good condition, and not damaged.
- Do not overload circuits by plugging in too many electrical products into one outlet.
Placement of portable electric heaters:
- Place heaters a minimum of 3 feet away from any combustible materials (e.g. curtains, paper, rugs, cloth, etc.).
- Do not run heater cords under carpets, rugs or furniture.
- Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they can pose a tripping hazard.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip,
- Turn off the heater when you’re not using it and when you go out.
Each year, there are more than 500 residential electric stovetop fires. The results are tragic. Over the past decade, cooking fires have caused 34 fatalities. The leading cause of these fires is leaving cooking unattended.
Traditional coil element stoves cause the most fires. Its elements heat up to 700 degrees Celsius, much hotter than other stoves. ESA worked with other regulators, standards developers and appliance manufacturers to limit the heat these stovetops could generate. Newer stoves now feature automatic shut-offs when they reach a certain temperature.
Safety Tips while Cooking
Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe in the kitchen:
- Stay in the kitchen and pay attention when cooking.
- Drink responsibly when cooking.
- If a fire starts, get out immediately and call 911.
- Keep anything that can catch fire (like oven mitts or towels) away from the stove.
Safety Tips for Adults and Kids
Here are some tips to keep kids safe in the kitchen:
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove, as well as areas where you prepare or carry hot food or drink.
- Make sure kids get your permission before cooking.
- Always supervise children when they are using the stove or microwave oven.
- Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Check that you are using approved cooking products. These bear a recognized Canadian approval mark of a certified product testing agency accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.