June is Home Safety Month

June is Home Safety Month, and it’s the perfect time to sweep your house of electrical hazards.

Start with a self-audit of your home—something you should turn into an annual ritual. Check that all of your appliances are still in working order by turning them on and off, listening to the sound of the motor (is it “normal?”) and inspecting their cords and plugs for damage.

Some more quick tips:

  • If you have young children at home, plug wall outlets with child-safety caps.
  • Replace appliances whose cords are frayed or worn. You can’t fix those.
  • Resolve to buy new appliances that have the thumbs-up from an independent testing laboratory like Underwriters Laboratories.
  • Choose light bulbs with the correct wattage for each lamp and overhead light fixture. You’ll find the maximum safe wattage imprinted on the fixture.
  • Get those electrical cords out from under your carpets! Covering cords can cause them to overheat and start a fire.
  • Put your extension cords away. They’re not meant for everyday use.
  • Install waterproof covers on your outdoor outlets.