Homeowner Basic Safety

Homeowner Basic Safety

Homeowner Basic Safety

Mar 20, 2024

The risk of electrical shock has gone down over the years as new safety features are becoming more common with electrical equipment - plastic casings on power tools, grounded plugs and built in protective devices prevent many injuries. There are still risks when it comes to electricity, however, and it's important for homeowners to have a basic understanding in order to keep themselves and their families safe!

Electric Shock

The most common risk with electricity is shock. This occurs when an electric current passes through the body. The severity depends on the current's voltage, amperage and the body's resistance. The path the current takes will also determine the potential injury, with paths that cross over the heart proving to be extremely dangerous. 

The risks in getting shocked range from minor discomfort to severe injury and can even prove to be fatal.

Risks include:

  • Electrical burns (both internal and external)

  • Heart arrhythmia - high voltage shocks can disrupt the heart and sometimes prove fatal, with heart attacks occurring up to 24 hours after electrical shock

  • Muscle contractions - shocks can cause involuntary muscle spasms, potentially causing falls or other injuries

  • Neurological effects - shocks can affect the nervous system, sometimes resulting in long-term damage

Here are some basic do's and don'ts for home safety:


  • Teach your children about electrical safety. Even with our current safety measures in place, some 6,000 electrical injuries occur in children every year! Teaching them the basics - how it works and what to avoid, is very important. 

  • Keep electrical devices away from water. Do not operate electrical devices with wet hands or while bathing. Keep all equipment away from any water source to avoid electrocution. 

  • Unplug appliances when not in use. Consider using a power strip if you have multiple appliances or if the plugs are hard to reach.

  • Test your GFCI outlets. GFCIs are meant to protect you, but they can't do this if they're not working properly. It's important to test these regularly to ensure they're working. Read more about GFCIs here

  • Inspect cords regularly. If you notice one is cracked or frayed, discard it immediately and get a replacement. These are common sources for shock. 

  • Use extension cords properly. Never connect multiple extension cords together and avoid running these under rugs. These should be a temporary solution. 

  • Get regular inspections. Homes should be inspected every 10 years or so to ensure the electrical wiring is up to code and safe for the family. 


  • Overload outlets. Plugging in too many appliances or devices into one outlet can cause circuits to trip or can lead to overheating and fire risk. 

  • Ignore warning signs. Flickering lights, buzzing noises, burning or fishy smells are indicators of an electrical issue. If you are noticing these, call an electrician right away, as this could be a big problem and pose a fire hazard. 

  • Use damaged cords. Even minor damage to a cord can cause major issues. 

  • Modify electrical cords or plug ins. Never cut off the ground prong of a power cord - this is an easy way to get shocked. 

  • DIY major projects. Without proper electrical knowledge, you risk your safety and the safety of anyone who may visit your home. Any high voltage concerns should be left to a licensed electrician.  

  • Ignore child safety. Cover unused outlets, install tamper-resistant outlets and keep cords out of reach of children. 

  • Touch power lines. Local lines carry 10,000 volts of electricity and should never be touched. Never assume a power line is de-energized and always treat them as if they are alive. 

With modern safety codes and provisions, being safe with electricity is easier than ever. With organizations like OSHA and NFPA working to improve safety standards, we have seen a 75% reduction in workplace deaths related to electrocution since 1980! Those safety standards are also applicable in the home and should be followed. The best way to stay safe is to follow these do's and don'ts and to reach out to us whenever you have a larger electrical issue!