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Outlets

  • Put covers over your electrical outlets to keep children from playing with them.
  • Put Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) on your outlets, especially ones near water. GFCI's monitor the flow of electricity to appliances. If there's an imbalance, the GFCI will immediately cut off the power to prevent you from being seriously injury. GFCIs can be used in any outlet but are especially important to have anywhere where water may be near (bathrooms, kitchens, garages and all outdoor outlets). To find out more about GFCIs, contact a qualified electrician.
  • If you need to plug-in more than two items at an outlet, use a surge protecting power bar, which will help protect against electrical overloads, shock hazards and fires.

Appliances

  • Keep cords away from children so they cannot pull on them or play with them.
  • Unplug your appliances before cleaning them or dealing with problems like removing burnt toast. You could still receive a shock from an appliance that is turned off but still plugged in as it is still part of an electrical circuit with the wall.
  • Preserve the cords on your appliances for as long as possible by not carrying them by their cords and keeping them away from pets that might chew on them.
  • Unplug appliances by pulling out the plug's head rather than by pulling the cord. Tug by the plug is a good rhyme to help children learn this.
  • Minor damage to insulated coating on an appliance power cord can be repaired with proper electrical tape. More serious damage and cut cords should be brought to a qualified appliance repair shop.
  • Unplug all non-essential appliances if you are planning to be away for an extended period of time.
Outlet  

Extension cords

  • Run your extension cords in places where they won't be damaged by moisture, heat or metal pipes. Don't run cords under rugs, as they may overheat and become a fire hazard, or be steped on and break without notice, creating a shock hazard.
  • While minor problems can be repaired with electrical tape, it is recommended people recycle or dispose of any cord that is cracked or frayed because electricity can "jump" out of the wires and shock you, and extension cords can contain a voltage at the same strength as the outlet.
  • Consider having an electrician install additional outlets into your home to avoid using extension cords all the time.if your outlets frequently become warm (this means they are overloaded). Or move some of your appliances to other areas of your home. Overloaded outlets can cause electrical fires.
Extension cord  

Bathrooms

  • Don't use appliances such as hairdryers and electric razors in the bathroom while water is being used. Water conducts electricity and you could receive an electrical shock. If the sink, tub or shower are in use, do not plug in and use any appliance.
  • Battery powered radios such as a shower radio may be used in the bathroom while using water as the strength of the battery is far less than the potential current from the wall.

Christmas lights

  • Turn off your Christmas lights if you're leaving the house. Overheated lights can cause electrical fires.
  • Always use a power bar for your holiday lights and displays to help prevent electrical overloads, shock hazards and fires.

Electrical fires

  • If you ever come across an electrical fire, always remember: NEVER throw water on an electrical fire! Water is a conductor and will make the fire worse! Get out of the building and call 9-1-1 from a safe location, and ensure all family members know what your meeting place is in case of fire.
  • If the fire is very small and both smoke inhalation and electrical shock risk are not an issue, a multi-purpose dry chemical (ABC) fire extinguisher may be used, but 9-1-1 should still be called for ALL fires, no matter how small they may seem.

Safety Tips

All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity services from the regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase natural gas services or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).

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