Safety Indoors

Protect yourself, your home and the things you value most.

Holiday Safety

We want to make your holidays shine brighter…and safer. Tune up on your electrical safety with these holiday safety tips.

  • Inspect electrical decorations for damage. Before use, look for any cracked/damaged sockets or loose/bare wires
  • Don’t connect more than three strings of lights. More than three strings of incandescent lights can not only blow a fuse, it could start a fire
  • Water your tree daily. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard. 
  • Use battery-operated candles. Almost half of all decoration fires are started by candles. 
  • Keep your decorations at least three feet from any heat source. In half of all decoration fires, combustible material was placed too close to a heat source.
  • Look for certification labels. Your decorations should all have labels from independent testing laboratories. Otherwise, they haven’t been safety tested.
  • When you go to sleep, so should your decorations. Turn off, unplug and extinguish all unattended decorations.
A man hanging colorful Christmas lights on his home

Using Plugs, Outlets and Appliances

Low voltage does not mean low hazard. We use simple voltage (120 or 240-volt) every day in our homes. For safe use of these appliances, remember:

  • Plugs only. Never put anything except a plug into a power outlet
  • Keep tools away from water. Think hairdryers, flat irons, etc. Don’t use them with wet hands or feet and keep them away from tubs or sinks
  • Turn off any appliance if it stutters or gives you even the slightest shock
  • Pull by the plug (not the cord), and unplug devices not in use
  • Don’t overload your outlets. Overloaded outlets are a common cause of fires. Don’t fill your electrical outlets with too many lights or decorations
  • Only plug space heaters into a wall outlet. Never plug a portable space heater into a power strip or extension cord.
  • Space heaters should be placed on flat surfaces, such as the floor. Do not leave them near curtains, on dressers, or anywhere that they could fall.
hand holding a plug

Preventing Electric Shock and Fire

Misusing common home appliances can potentially cause injury and electrical fires.

  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from any materials that could catch fire, such as bedding, clothing, drapes, furniture and rugs 
  • Check light bulb wattage to make sure it's right for the fixture
  • Don’t overload outlets or extension cords. Avoid stringing multiple cords together or running them through areas where they may get damaged
  • Protect your electrical cords from damage. Don’t pinch them through doorways, windows or under furniture. Don’t place them under rugs or near heat sources. And they should never be attached using nails or staples. Doing so could cause shock or a fire

Always keep a charged fire extinguisher (Class “C” or ABC) in your home to put out any electrical fire.

fire extinguisher

Charging Electric Vehicles

With more electric vehicles (EV) at home and on the road, make sure you're using the right charging equipment. 

  • Charging at home? Old home wiring may not be right for your EV. Have an electrician install a dedicated circuit or charging station, and make sure the outlet is covered to keep water out
  • Using a public charging station? Do a quick inspection before you plug in. Never use a charger if it's off its base or appears damaged

Remember to preserve your battery. Most EVs prevent overcharging but maxing out your charge to 100% can damage your battery life. Explore more charging safety tips »

electric vehicle charging station