Safety at Home - ERTH Power
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Safety at Home2023-08-07T08:39:07+00:00

Electrical Safety at Home

Household Hazards

Extension cords are handy when you need to extend the reach of a wire temporarily or when there are not enough outlets available. However, you should never use an extension cord to replace an outlet permanently.

Before using an extension cord, check the product for a recognized electrical safety approval mark. If you need to use an extension cord outdoors, purchase a cord rated for outdoor use. Never cover extension cords and always keep them away from heat sources and water to prevent electric shock.

It is important to check the electrical cords, outlets, switches and wiring in your home regularly. If they are worn or damaged, stop using them immediately. It can be easy to ignore these issues, but damaged cords and wiring can lead to electrical shocks and fires.

Lightbulbs are not “one-size-fits-all” and using the wrong one can cause serious harm or damage. When replacing a lightbulb, you must identify what wattage the fixture requires. The wattage information is usually found somewhere on the fixture. Make sure that the wattage of the replacement bulb is less than or equal to the maximum allowable wattage of the light fixture. Using a lightbulb that exceeds the allowable wattage can cause overheating and potentially lead to fires.

Washing machines and dryers – If these appliances frequently move or vibrate, wiring could become loose and cause electrical shocks. It is also important to keep your dryer vents and filters clear of lint.

Overloaded outlets – You should only have one plug per socket in each outlet never try to jam a plug into a socket that is not the proper size or configuration. Unplug any appliances you are not using for safety and efficiency.

Damaged light switches – If a light switch emits heat, smells like something burning, or makes a buzzing sound, cut off power for that circuit immediately and call a Licensed Electrical Contractor to inspect the switch.

Dirty refrigerator coils – Clean vacuum refrigerator coils at least once every three months to avoid overheating and prevent electrical fires.

Electrical Safety Tips



  • Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor

  • Check products for a certification mark

  • Use lightbulbs with the recommended wattage

  • Replace damaged or faulty cords, outlets and switches immediately

  • Pull on the plug to disconnect, not the cord
  • Keep cords and appliances away from heat and water

  • Use holiday lights rated for proper use (indoor/outdoor)

  • Call or click before you dig to get a free utility locate

  • Touch or tamper with electrical equipment such as green transformer boxes
  • Attempt “do-it-yourself” electrical work
  • Overload electrical outlets
  • Use lightbulbs that exceed the maximum allowable wattage of the fixture
  • Cover up extension cords
  • Use frayed or damaged cords and never tape or splice to prolong their use
  • Remove the third prong (grounding pin) on plugs
  • Use a hair dryer, radio, curling iron, or any other small appliance near water
  • Try to jam a plug into a socket that is the wrong size or configuration

Electrical Repairs and Renovations

When doing any electrical repairs or renovations to your home, always hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to ensure the job is done safely and in compliance with applicable building codes.

  1. Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor to perform electrical work.
  2. The contractor will file for a permit with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).
  3. If you are doing any digging, contact Ontario One Call for a utility locate – it’s the law.
  4. Depending on the scope of the project, you may also need to request a temporary service disconnection from ERTH Power before the work can begin.
  5. Once the contractor finishes the electrical work, they will notify the ESA and an inspector will confirm that work meets requirements for power to be restored.
  6. ERTH Power will schedule a reconnection if your power was temporarily disconnected,
  7. Once repairs and power restoration are complete, ask your contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your records

Electrical Safety Devices

It is important to check the electrical cords, outlets, switches and wiring in your home regularly. If they are worn or damaged, stop using them immediately. It can be easy to ignore these issues, but damaged cords and wiring can lead to electrical shocks and fires.

GFCIs protect against electric shock and are usually found in bathrooms and kitchens, where appliances are more likely to come into contact with water (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms). As a fast-acting circuit breaker, the device is designed to shut off electrical power within ten milliseconds in the event of a ground fault.

Surge-protective devices protect your appliances against sudden spikes in electrical current. Although they look like standard power cords, they provide more safety by limiting the electricity supply to your appliances.

Tamper-proof outlets look like standard outlets but have an interior cover that only opens when both prongs are inserted at the same time. These receptacles can act as a childproofing tool to help prevent electrical shocks and/or burns.

Holiday Lighting

Holiday lights make the season brighter, but they can also be a serious electrical hazard. Follow these tips to light up your home safely during the holidays:

  • Choose products that are rated for proper indoor or outdoor use.
  • Read the package instructions, and never exceed the recommended wattage.
  • Replace damaged cords, plugs, and ornaments
  • Avoid plugging too many lights and decorations into an outlet.
  • Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) when plugging in outdoors.
  • Check decorations for the approval mark of an accredited certification agency.
  • Never remove the third prong on plugs. This “grounding pin” prevents shock in case of electrical equipment failure.
  • Don’t run extension cords under carpets, through doorways, or in places where furniture might damage them.

Electrical Injuries and Shock

In the event of electric shock, do not touch the victim until the electricity is turned off. If the victim is in contact with the electric power lines, the only safe procedure is to call 9-1-1 for emergency medical assistance and get the utility company to turn off the power.

Call or Click Before Your Dig – It’s the Law!

As a homeowner, contractor, or developer, it is your responsibility to ensure that any outdoor projects are done safely. If you are doing any yard work that involves digging, such as building a fence, planting a tree, installing a sprinkler system, or excavating for a pool, you must get utility locates before breaking ground to avoid hitting any underground infrastructure.

Underground utility services such as power lines, natural gas lines, water/wastewater lines, and communications lines could be buried under your property. Accidently hitting any of these services could cause serious or fatal injury, property damage, and/or a service disruption.

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