Electrical Safety

Photo Credit: Jooinn

Electricity is a core component of our lives.  Coffeemakers, computers, gaming consoles, televisions, lights, charging your phone.  All of it requires electricity.  Unfortunately, electricity likewise accounts for about 45,000 home fires every year.  

There are several warning signs that exist when something is wrong with your electrical setup, these include:

  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance.
  • Discolored or warm wall outlets.
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance.
  • Flickering or dimming lights.
  • Sparks coming from an outlet.

If you see one of these warning signs, you should report it immediately.

  • UCSC Housing Residents:  Submit a FixIt Ticket to CHES Facilities and Maintenance.
  • non-UCSC Housing Tenants:  Contact your landlord immediately.
  • Homeowners:  Contact a qualified electrician in your area.

During your regular use of electrical appliances, follow these guidelines to reduce the risk of an electrical fire.

  • Plug in major appliances directly into a wall socket, never an extension cord.
  • If you are using electrical or extension cords, make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets.
  • Ensure that light bulbs you are using are rated with the right number of watts.  

More Information

NFPA Electrical Safety (PDF)

FEMA Be Fire Smart (PDF)

FEMA Electrical Fire Safety (PDF)