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Indoor Safety Tips

Although electricity is readily accessible and very safe when used properly, it is nevertheless important to follow necessary safety precautions. As a power provider, NSTAR follows strict safety practices. To ensure your safety, we would like you to do the same. That's why NSTAR provides the following indoor safety tips for you and your children to always keep in mind.

  • To be safe, wiring must be installed by a licensed electrician and inspected by your local wiring inspector. Your house or apartment may be inadequately wired if lights dim and motors slow down when an appliance goes on, fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently, toasters or irons fail to heat properly or your television picture shrinks.
  • Turn main power off before replacing a fuse or adjusting circuit breakers.
  • Install outlets with a ground fault interrupter (GFI) wherever water/moisture is nearby.
  • Never pull a plug out by the cord.
  • Regularly check wires, extension cords and appliances for signs of wear.
  • Use appliances and power tools with three-pronged plugs.
  • Never touch appliances, wires or electrical switches with wet hands or feet.
  • Turn television set and other appliances off during a lightning storm.
  • Smoke alarms are essential.  They must be properly located, vacuumed and tested regularly.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher in your home. It should be checked every six months. Use a class "C" all-purpose extinguisher on electrical fires. Never use water on an electrical fire.
  • Never place electrical cords across traffic areas or under carpets.
  • Be sure appliance and extension cords are not cracked or frayed.
  • Purchase small appliances that have been approved by OSHA certified laboratories such as the Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Don't plug too many appliances into one outlet.
  • Never use any electrical appliance in the tub or shower.
  • If there are small children in your house, use plastic safety caps in unused outlets.
  • Never insert a metal object into an appliance without disconnecting the appliance.
  • Set your water heater at the "medium" setting to avoid burns. Always perform the "elbow test" before placing an infant in the tub. Make sure to check the water temperature before placing a child in the bathtub and never leave a child alone or with other young children in the tub.
  • Some new, more powerful appliances may need their own separate circuit. You should have an electrician look at your wiring to ensure it's up-to-date and safe.
  • Unplug any appliances while cleaning or repairing, including jammed toasters and power tools. Also, be aware some electronic devices, such as a television or computer, still might post a shock hazard even after being unplugged.
  • Circuit breakers or fuses that trip often might signal a circuit that's overloaded or a faulty appliance, posing a shock or fire risk. An electrician can help troubleshoot the problem.
  • Do not patch electric cords with tape. Also make sure cords aren't under rugs or too close to radiators, pipes or heaters.

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