As you prepare to head back to school, also learn how you can keep yourself electrically safe this school year.

To prepare for the start of a new school year, ESFI is offering important electrical safety tips. Electricity is all around us, and using it safely is vital. Thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted because of electrical fires and accidents in their homes each year. Many electrocutions and home fires can be prevented simply by understanding basic electrical safety principles and adhering to safe practices.

Learn how to properly use electricity when charging your laptop, phone, or other electronics to avoid painful injuries and keep the devices in working order. Before completing homework at home, learn to plug in safely to keep you, your family, and your home safe from electrical hazards. If you have a student heading to a college dorm for the first time, help them to prepare with the cooking safety tips below to avoid any preventable accidents in the kitchen.

At Home Learning Electrical Safety
1. Avoid overloading outlets.
2. Unplug appliances when not in use to save energy and minimize the risk of shock and fire.
3. Regularly inspect electrical cords and extension cords for damage.
4. Extension cords should only be used temporarily.
5. Never plug a space heater or fan into an extension cord or power strip.
6. Never run cords under rugs, carpets, doors, or windows.
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.
9. Make sure you use proper wattage for lamps and lighting.
10. Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Test them monthly, change batteries yearly, and replace alarms every ten years.

Back to School Safety
• Do not play on or around utility poles or power lines; you can get hurt!
• Stay away from green box transformers or other electrical equipment; you can get shocked!
• Never insert anything other than an electrical plug into an electrical outlet. You can damage your home and hurt yourself if you do!
• Stay away from power stations and substations.

Cooking Safety
• Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms have GFCI protected outlets.
• Unplug appliances when not in use.
• Never leave cooking or appliances unattended.
• Make sure you have working smoke alarms and never disable a smoke alarm when cooking.

Learn How to Test Safety Outlets
1. Plug in a nightlight to the outlet you are testing.
2. Press test and the light should turn off.
3. Press reset and the light should turn back on.
4. If the light does not turn on, have a qualified electrician inspect the outlet.

ESFI also has a wide variety of resources for children, including tips, lessons, and activities that help students learn about basic fire and electricity concepts at For ESFI’s complete collection of free-to-share safety resources and information about using them in your community, visit

ESFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety at home and the workplace. For more information and to use ESFI’s free resources throughout your community, visit
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