Electrical Hazards

Signs of an electrical hazard:

  • Sparking from switches or receptacles
  • Connections or splices in wires not made in junction boxes
  • Open junction boxes and cover plates missing from switches and receptacles
  • Use of extension cords as permanent wiring
  • Over-fusing
  • Ground pins removed or bypassed on appliances with three prong plugs

Extension cords

  • The diameter of the extension cord should be larger than the cord on the appliance
  • If the appliance is equipped with three prongs (ground pin), the extension cord must have three prongs.
  • A power bar with a built-in breaker is a good alternative to standard extension cords.

Extension cords are for temporary use only. Do not:

  • Use damaged cords
  • Run cords under rugs, through partition walls or floors
  • Nail cords to baseboards, door frames or window frames
  • Connect cords to permanent wiring by splicing or joints


Home wiring

  • Only a certified electrician should alter plugs, switches and wiring in your home
  • Household circuits are designed to carry a load 15 amp fuse
  • Over-fusing these circuits will allow the wiring to heat up before the fuse blows, increasing the potential for fire
  • If your 15 amp fuses blow repeatedly, then replace them with 15 amp time-delay fuses.

Return to the Fire Safety and Guidelines page.