Inside Your Home
Do it Yourself Jobs
Electrical Safety Foundation International strongly recommends hiring a licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home. If you decide to handle the project on your own, please consider these safety tips:
- Learn as much as possible about your home's electrical system beforehand.
- Know your limits: Never attempt a project that is beyond your skill level. Unplug any appliance before starting work.
- Shut off power to the circuit you'll be working on by switching off the breaker in the main service panel.
- Test the wires before you touch them to ensure they're not energized.
- Never touch plumbing or gas pipes when working on your home's electrical system.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is a factor in 57,100 home fires, 490 deaths, 1,530 injuries and $1.1 billion in property damage in the US each year. The majority of these incidents were caused by portable space heaters.
Knowing how to safely use a space heater can save your life. The first step is to read the owner's manual. Here are some other tips:
- Never leave a space heater running when you leave a room or go to sleep.
- Do not use space heaters in rooms with unsupervised children.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything flammable - furniture, clothes, bedding, rugs, curtains, etc.
- Don't put a space heater in a high-traffic area where people might run into it or trip over it.
- Set up the heater on a flat and level surface. Avoid placing it on furniture.
- Do not use a space heater in damp or wet areas, bathrooms included, unless the manual indicates the heater is intended for bathroom use.
- Do not plug a space heater into a power strip or extension cord.
- Unplug the space heater when it's not on, and inspect the cord regularly for damage.
A working smoke alarm in your home cuts your chance of dying in a home fire by 50%.
Use these tips when purchasing and maintaining a smoke alarm:
- Purchase smoke alarms from reputable retailers. Choose alarms that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Interconnected alarms offer the best protection.
- Regularly check your smoke alarms by hitting the Test button. Test the device at least once a month, and replace batteries at least once a year.
- Replace the device every 10 years, at least.
Portable Generator Safety
In the event of a prolonged power outage, portable electric generators can provide benefits and convenience - powering heat sources, lights, computers, phones, etc. They can also be very dangerous.
Here are some precautions to take to ensure the safety of you and your family, as well as the safety of those working to restore the power:
- Make sure you fully understand how to properly operate the generator. The most effective way to do so is to read and follow the manufacturer's operating instructions.
- Only use a generator outside, away from open windows, doors and vents.
- Never use a generator inside a confined space - your home, garage, crawl space, etc. The carbon monoxide emitted by the machine can be deadly even if you've opened doors or windows.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure
For information about carbon monoxide exposure, please view the information provided by Intermountain Gas.