Indoor Safety Tips

Indoor Tips for Residents and Do-It-Yourselfers

Whether you're planning an indoor do-it-yourself project or you're just using appliances around the home, always have a healthy respect for electricity. Not sure you can complete the job correctly? Consider hiring an electrician to do the job to keep your family safe.

The following tips offer great ways to stay aware of electricity and avoid potentially tragic accidents at home.

Power Cords and Plugs

  • Use cords approved by the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL)
  • Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) on outlets whenever you're working on a project like remodeling a room or adding a kitchen or bathroom. A GFCI monitors electric current; if there's an imbalance, it stops the current
  • Don't place a power cord under a carpet, through a doorway, or anywhere it could be stepped on
  • Keep cords away from heat and water
  • When unplugging an electrical object from its outlet, pull the plug, not the power cord
  • Compare the amp rating on an extension cord (indicated as "A" or "amps" on the cord) with that of the tool to make sure it can handle the tool
  • Use a heavy-duty, grounded three-wire cord for power tools

Electrical Tools and Appliances

  • Don't use a tool or appliance that shocks, smokes, emits strange odors, sparks, or operates suspiciously in any way
  • Repair or replace a tool or appliance if the insulation is cracked or missing or if the plug is loose
  • Unplug tools when you're not using them
  • Make sure the power tool you're using is on a circuit that can support its electrical requirements
  • Check that your power tools are double insulated and have grounded plugs
  • Keep your tools and appliances in good repair. Frayed cords, cords with cracked insulation, and loose plugs can shock you
  • Clean your tools. Dirt and grime buildup can cause tools to overheat

Space Heaters

  • Keep anything that is flammable away from the heater
  • Make sure curtains are nowhere near the heater
  • Make sure the heater is UL approved
  • Make sure the heater is plugged into an outlet that is not overloaded with other appliances
  • Turn off the heater when not in use or when you're leaving home


  • Keep anything that could burn away from a hot light bulb. A 100-watt bulb can get up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Use the correct lights for the job. For example, when using holiday lights, use only indoor lights indoors. Outdoor holiday lights burn hotter and can cause accidents
  • If a strand of holiday lights is frayed, discard the string
  • Use only UL-approved lights
  • Connect lights to power strips that have several outlets and a built-in circuit breaker
  • Tell children never to touch lights or plugs, especially with wet hands
  • Unplug indoor holiday lights before going to bed each night