At-home electrical safety tips
Use electricity safely at home


General tips

  • Always call a certified electrician to do any wiring in your home.
  • Call BC One Call at 1 800 474 6886 before digging in your yard.

Electrical panels, fuses, and outlets

  • If a fuse blows, turn off all appliances and lights that are on the circuit before changing the fuse.
  • Use a flashlight. Don't try to replace a fuse in the dark.
  • Replace a fuse with another that has an identical rating.
  • Loose fuses can overheat. If you have plug-type fuses, you should periodically check to make sure they're snug.
  • Never replace a fuse with a coin or other metal object.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters on all outlets located outdoors.

Cords, extension cords, and plugs

  • Pull the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting an electrical device.
  • Never remove a plug when your hands are wet, or if you’re touching a metal object.
  • The third prong of a plug exists for safety reasons. Do not break it off or bypass it.
  • Use only three-pronged extension cords outdoors.
  • Keep cords away from sources of heat and water.
  • Cords and plugs that show signs of wear or damage need to be replaced. Stop using them immediately.
  • Do not place a cord under a carpet, through a doorway, or anywhere that it could be stepped on.
  • Always use extension cords that are properly rated for the amount of electricity you'll be using.
  • Extension cords are intended for temporary use. If you need a permanent solution, call an electrician.
  • Coil up excess cord length and keep the coil intact with plastic ties or Velcro straps.
  • Use a certified power bar if you need to plug multiple items into an outlet.

Electrical devices, appliances, and power tools

  • Unplug the toaster before prying out that stuck toast.
  • Unplug your electrical gadgets when they're not in use.
  • Keep your electrical devices away from sources of water.
  • If you use an electric lawnmower, only cut the grass when it's dry and never when it’s raining.
  • Insist on appliances and tools that have been certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) seal or another accredited Standards Council of Canada association.

Electricity safety near gas supply

  • If you smell gas don’t touch any electrical switches as it could cause a spark. Go outside and call FortisBC's 24-hour Emergency Line at 1-800-663-9911.
  • Always use qualified electricity and gas contractors to install your services and ask them to ensure the services are installed the right distance apart.
  • Make sure your services are inspected and maintained regularly. Don’t try any maintenance yourself, always use a qualified contractor.