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Source: Shriners Hospitals for Children


Be safe around electricity
In the U.S., electrical burns and injuries from lightning result in approximately 3,000 admissions to specialized burn units annually, and result in about 1,000 fatalities. In addition, electrical fires in residences cause more than 25,000 fires annually.

Remembering a few basic safety tips can help keep you and your children safe.

In your home, especially if young children are present:

  • Place covers on all electrical outlets.
  • Unplug all electrical items within a child’s reach.
  • Do not allow toys that must be plugged into an outlet.
  • Teach your children to never touch electrical outlets or play with electrical cords.

In your home, for everyone’s safety:

  • Use extreme caution when using electrical appliances near water.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Replace electrical items that show signs of wear, such as frayed wires.
  • Keep your clothes dryer free of lint accumulation to avoid it becoming a fire hazard.
  • If you are in or standing in water, do not touch anything electrical.
  • Do not use extension cords to plug in appliances.
  • Plug items in appropriately (do not force a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet.
  • Use certified surge protectors and power strips.
  • Keep clothes, curtains, and other flammable items away from heat sources.
  • Use correct wattage light bulbs.

And outside, remember to:

  • Come indoors and remain there during an electrical storm (one with lightning strikes).
  • Never play near electrical wires.
  • Stay away from areas marked DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE.
  • Never climb utility poles, transmission towers, etc.
  • Do not climb trees that are near power lines.
  • Do not throw anything at utility poles or wires.
  • Only fly kites in dry weather and in open spaces. If your kite does get caught in an electrical wire, call the electric company for help.

Contact a qualified electrician:

  • If you have recurring instances of blown fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
  • If you experience a tingling feeling when touching an electrical tool or appliance.
  • If your outlets or switches are warm or discolored.
  • If there is a burning or rubber-like smell coming from an appliance.
  • If you have flickering lights.
  • If there are sparks coming from an outlet.
  • If wall outlets are cracked or broken.

Download the Be Safe Around Electricity Tip Sheet

For more information, please visit www.burnawareness.org or www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

(Information from the U.S. Fire Administration, WebMD, NSTAR and Uptodate.com was used in this report)