You use electricity in your home and office and probably don't even think twice about it. May is National Electric Safety Month and the Electrical Safety Foundation International, based in Virginia has put out a few reminders and things to just stop and double check as you go about your day, both in your home and in your workplace.

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  1. Avoid overloading outlets. There is a correct 'load' for each outlet. Over taxing the outlet is pretty much asking for trouble.
  2. Unplug appliances when not in use to save energy and minimize the risk of shock or fire. Appliances will continue to use electricity when they are not in use, ie TV, microwave, etc.
  3. Regularly inspect electrical cords and extension cords for damage. Frayed cords are a tremendous fire hazard.
  4. Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis. If you need to keep that cord in place, think about getting an electrician out to get some additional outlets put in your home.
  5. Never plug a space heater or fan into an extension cord or power strip. The heater does not run efficiently and becomes a spark or fire hazard.
  6. Never run cords under rugs / carpets, doors, or windows. The pressure on the cord, puts stress on the cord and can lead to damage.
  7. Plug in smartly. Make sure cords do not become tripping hazards
  8. Keep papers and other potential combustibles at least three feet away from space heaters and other heat sources. The heat source can catch these items on fire and then that small fire can lead to the rest of your home.
  9. Make sure you use proper wattage for lamps / lighting. Each lamp or light has a max capacity for the light bulb that it needs. Just take a moment to double check that you are not using a light bulb that is too powerful for your light.
  10. Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Test them monthly, change batteries yearly, and replace the unit every 10 years.  Don't just nod your head, actually getup there and check it. It does two things, it makes sure that it actually works and it keeps the battery from beeping at 2 in the morning when that battery starts to beep because it needs to be replaced.

What other tips would you like to share to keep your fellow Hudson Valley neighbors safe?

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