Safety at Home

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At Waterloo North Hydro Inc., safety is our priority. We actively promote safety using advertising, publications and public presentations. Ongoing training as well as the latest technology helps to maintain a safe environment for our employees and the community we serve.

Whether you are at work, at home, or spending time enjoying the outdoors, we want you and your family to be safe around electricity. Please remember to call a certified electrician to do any wiring in your home.

Follow our simple safety tips to protect yourself and those around you:

Appliances

Appliances that repeatedly blow a fuse, trip a circuit breaker or give you a shock can be dangerous. Unplug the appliance and have it repaired or replaced.

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Circuit Breakers/Fuses

  • If a fuse blows, turn off all appliances and lights on the circuit before changing the fuse.
  • Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct current rating for their circuit.
  • If you do not know the correct size, have a qualified electrician identify and label the appropriate size.
  • Always replace a fuse with the correctly specified size fuse.

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Cords

  • Make sure cords are in good condition—not frayed or cracked.
  • Never place cords in high traffic areas.
  • Never nail or staple cords to the wall, baseboard or any other object.
  • Do not place cords under carpets, through a doorway, or in places where people may we walking.
  • Pull the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting an electrical device.
  • Never remove a plug when your hands are wet, or if you are touching metal.

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Entertainment/Computer Equipment

  • Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly.
  • Ensure there are no cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors.
  • A certified surge protector or power bar will protect your equipment in the event of a voltage surge. Use a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
  • The best way to protect your electrical gadgets is to unplug them when they are not in use.

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Extension Cords

  • Check to see that cords are not overloaded.
  • Make sure extension cords have safety closures to help prevent shock hazards.
  • Coil up excess cord length and keep the coil intact with plastic ties or Velcro straps.
  • Extension cords are for temporary use. If you need a permanent solution, call an electrician.

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Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

A GFCI is a sensor attached to our electrical outlets that senses a current leakage in an electrical circuit. The GFCI will then interrupt power fast enough to help prevent serious injury from electrical shock.

  • Use GFCIs in any area where water and electricity may come into contact.
  • Test GFCIs according to the manufacturer’s instructions monthly and after major electrical storms to make sure they are working properly.
  • Replace all GFCIs that are not working properly, but never replace a GFCI with a standard non-GFCI outlet or circuit breaker.

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Halogen Floor Lamps

  • Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than standard incandescent light bulbs.
  • Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could encounter draperies, clothing or other flammable materials.
  • Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period.
  • Never use Halogen Floor Lamps in children’s bedrooms or playrooms.

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Ladders

  • When using ladders look up! Avoid contact with overhead wires and power lines.
  • Stay at least 10 feet (3m) from all power lines.
  • Only use ladders on stable surfaces, and have someone hold the ladder when you are on it.

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Light Bulbs

  • Make sure the wattage of your light bulbs align with the wattage of your fixtures.
  • Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended.
  • If you do not know the correct wattage for the fixture, check with the manufacturer of the fixture.
  • Screw bulbs in securely as loose bulbs may overheat.

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Lightning

  • During an storm, avoid using appliances such as hairdryers, toasters and telephones (except in an emergency)
  • Avoid taking a baths or showers.
  • Keep batteries on hand for flashlights and radios in case of a power outage
  • Use surge protectors on electronic devices, appliances, phones, and computers.

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Outdoor Safety

  • Do not use electric-powered lawnmowers and other electric tools in the rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions.
  • Repair or replace any frayed or cracked power cords, or plugs on power tools and electric lawn mowers before use.
  • Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools.
  • Remember to unplug all power tools when they are not in use.
  • Keep electrical devices away from water.
  • If you need to prune or remove a tree near a power line or a ground-level transformer box, call Waterloo North Hydro first.

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Outlets

  • Outlets that have loose-fitting plugs can overheat and lead to fire.
  • Replace any missing or broken wall plates.
  • Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.

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Plugs

  • Make sure your plugs fit your outlets.
  • Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet as this could lead to an electrical shock.
  • Never force a plug into an outlet if it does not fit. Plugs should fit securely into outlets.
  • Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances.

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Space Heaters

  • Space heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat.
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 ft. away from any flammable materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture and rugs.
  • Do not use portable heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised and remember to turn off and unplug them when they are not in use.
  • Do not use space heaters with extension cords. Plug them directly into an outlet on a relatively unburdened circuit.

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Water

  • Do not leave plugged in appliances where they might fall into or encounter water.
  • If a plugged in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out—even if it is turned off. First turn off the power source at the main electrical panel and then unplug the appliance.
  • If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, do not use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.

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Wiring

  • Unless you are qualified and experienced in electrical work, consider hiring a licensed electrician for electrical repairs, maintenance and installations.
  • If you elect to perform such work, make sure you follow these safety basics: Never work on or around “hot” lines. Always de-energize lines and equipment by disconnecting from the power source at the circuit breakers or fuses. Do not forget to test every conductor before you make contact with it.

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