Electrical Power Bar on wooden background

In busy lifestyles it is so easy to flip a switch to turn on a light, make a cup of coffee or plug in a device. Many of these actions become second nature to us and we don’t even realize we are doing it. However, even with this simplicity we need to be cautious and keep fire safety in mind.

Electrical fires are one of the top three cause of fires in East Gwillimbury.

Safety tips
  • Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
  • Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and power bars should not be used.
  • Only use one heat-producing appliance in an outlet at a time.
  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of shock. GFCI shut off an electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard. These should be installed inside the home in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and garages. In addition, all outdoor receptacles should be GFCI protected as well.
  • Maintain a three metre “no storage” area around electrical panels.
  • Electrical appliance, equipment and cords should be kept at least six feet away from water.
  • Replace damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • Do not overload outlets.  Only have one high-wattage appliance into each outlet receptacle at a time.
  • Use a correct number of watt light bulb in lamps and light fixtures. There should be a sticker that indicates the correct number of watts.
  • Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets.
  • Extension cords are intended for temporary use. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacles outlets to avoid having to use extensions cords. 
Home repair or pool/hot tub electrical 
  • If you are putting in a new pool, hot tub or spa be sure the wiring is performed by an electrician experienced in the special safety requirements for these types of installations.
  • Ensure that any overhead lines maintain the proper distance over a pool and other structures, such as a diving board. If you have any doubts, contact a qualified electrician of your local utility company to make sure power lines are a safe distance away.
  • When buying or remodelling a home, have it inspected by a qualified private inspector or in accordance with local requirements.       
When to seek help

If you experience any of the following concerns, it is important to call a qualified electrician or your landlord. 

  • Sparks are coming from an outlet.
  • Smell of burning coming from any appliance
  • Discoloured or warm wall outlets
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance.
  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • Flicking or dimming lights

For more electrical fire safety information and tips, visit NFPA or Electrical Safety Authority.