Improper use of electrical devices and lack of maintenance of your installations can cause a fire. Avoid risks by following the tips below.
Make sure you have enough smoke detectors in all the right places.
If you notice a power outage or an unusual smell, have your electrical installations checked by a master electrician.
Have old, damaged, or non-compliant equipment replaced.
Never modify an electrical device or electrical equipment.
Replace protective covers on junction boxes, electrical outlets, and switches as soon as they are damaged.
Never strip electrical wires.
If the wiring must be run along the side of a beam in your home, maintain a distance of 10 cm from the top of the beam.
Make sure that outdoor electrical wiring is installed more than 30 cm away from any support to prevent rodents from reaching the wires.
Always call a master electrician for your electrical work.
Always leave the protective cover of the electrical panel in place to avoid the risk of electric shock and to prevent dust and moisture from damaging the electrical contacts.
Check your electrical panel once a year and retighten the fuses if necessary.
If your electrical panel is unusually hot, contact an electrician.
Never paint your electrical panel because paint affects the panel’s insulation. It could catch fire if there is a blaze nearby.
If you are moving, have a master electrician inspect the electrical panel in your new home.
If a fuse blows in your electrical panel, check to see if there are too many devices connected to that circuit. If the fuse has blown for no apparent reason, have the panel inspected by a master electrician.
Cables, extension cords, and plugs
Use ULC- or CSA-certified extension cords with built-in circuit breakers.
Unplug extension cords after each use. For ongoing electrical needs, have additional outlets installed by a master electrician.
Do not roll up an extension cord when it is plugged in. The heat generated in the core of the coil can damage the protective sheath and cause an arc (visible flow of electrical current).
Never paint extension cords and cables as the paint dries out the sheathing. If the sheath cracks, it could cause an electrical arc, resulting in a fire.
Replace any damaged or overheating extension cords.
Do not hang an extension cord or cable on a hook or nail.
To disconnect a device or an appliance, pull the plug, not the cable.
Do not cut the third prong of a plug; it is needed for grounding the unit to prevent electrification (electric shock).
Ensure that bathroom and outdoor outlets have built-in circuit breakers. Outdoor outlets should also have a protective cover.
Make sure that no plugs are trapped or crushed behind furniture.
If you use multiple outlets, make sure you only plug in low-power devices such as a table lamp or television.
Electricity outside the home
Ensure that outdoor outlets and switches are waterproof.
Install a weatherproof outdoor light fixture.
Use extension cords designed for outdoor use.
Put the Christmas lights away as soon as the festive season is over. Leaving them out can cause heat damage to the cable sheath. A damaged sheath, combined with the weather, can cause arcing and become a fire hazard.
Keep electrical devices such as radios away from the pool.
Did you know that an electric arc can generate nearly 3,000°C?
Use only equipment bearing the seal of a recognized certification agency such as CSA or ULC.
For your lamps, use bulbs that respect the maximum rating indicated on the lamp.
Do not use an electrical device, such as a cell phone connected to its charge, while in the bathtub or with your feet in the water. If the device falls into the water, there is a great danger of electric shock. Only bathroom outlets with a protective system (ground fault circuit interrupter) will cut off the power if water gets into the plugged-in device.
Behind the refrigerator, clean the condenser coil and the mechanism regularly. Dust and grease deposits can catch fire.
Last update: September 8, 2021