Shem Corner: Safety at home

Safety at home

We urge you to always take care when using electricity in and around the house as an electric shock can be fatal. Most electrical accidents happen inside the home.

General precautions

  • If you get an electric shock from taps or water pipes, switch off the power at the main switch and call the emergency phone 77 333 36 31. This could mean that your house is unsafe because the wiring is faulty.
  • Water conducts electricity. Never use electrical appliances where they could come into contact with water and ensure that they are not positioned where children may be able to pull them into the bath, shower or basin.
  • Switch the power off before changing light bulbs.


  • Switch off appliances when not in use and before removing the plug from the power point. Some appliances such as televisions may still have electricity running through them even though they may appear to be switched off.
  • Never use a faulty appliance. If an appliance fails to operate, blows a fuse, overheats, sparks or gives you an electric shock, disconnect the appliance and Call emergency phone 77 333 36 31 or end a request by e-services.
  • Don’t leave appliances such as heaters, electric blankets, stoves and ovens on when you are not at home for a while.
  • Never touch appliances or switches with wet hands.
  • If an appliance falls into water dispose of it immediately (remove the cord so it can’t be used again).
  • Never dislodge toast from a toaster with a metal knife or other metal objects.

Power points, plugs and cords

Damaged or wrongly wired plugs and cords are the most common cause of electrical accidents in and around the home.

  • Switch off the power before removing a plug from a power point.
  • Always remove a plug from the power point by firmly grasping the plug. Do not pull the cord or push your fingers between the plug and the power point. If you accidentally touch the pins of the plug while pulling it out you may receive an electric shock.
  • Cover exposed power points within reach of children with plastic safety inserts.
  • Don’t wipe power points or switches with a wet cloth or spray them with household cleaners.
  • Don’t attempt to repair loose, cracked or broken power point switches. Send a request to facilities maintenance by E-services
  • Never use a double adaptor in a power point. If you need to connect more than one appliance to a single power point, send a request to facilities maintenance for additional plugs
  • Replace worn, damaged or frayed cords, especially extension cords. Do not use PVC insulation tape to repair them.
  • Unwind long cords fully before use to prevent overheating.
  • Don’t run long cords across roads or driveways because they are likely to be run over or damaged.
  • Make sure that doors and windows do not close on cords.
  • Don’t run extension cords across wet grass, pool areas or wet floors.
  • Use a portable safety switch unit with extension cords and power tools.
  • When using electric power tools make sure that the cord is positioned so that it cannot be cut or damaged.

Shem Corner: Holiday Fire Safety Tips



            With the holidays approaching, one of the best gifts you can give your family is a safe home in which to enjoy the season. The holidays are a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire. There are simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following some of the outlined precautionary tips, individuals can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.


  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, boiling, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • After your Thanksgiving guests leave, ask a family member to perform a home safety check to ensure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished.


Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles, and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy.

  • Pick a “safe” tree. If you’re buying a cut tree for Christmas, check for freshness. A fresh tree has a good green color and needles that are hard to pull from the branches and do not break. Shedding, brittle needles and a faded green color are signs of a dry tree. Keep your tree fresh by placing it in a stand that holds water. Check the water level every day.
  • Choose “Fire Resistant”-labeled artificial trees and decorations. This does NOT mean these items won’t catch fire—it does mean that they should resist burning and extinguish fairly quickly in the event of fire.
  • Pick a safe place for your tree.  Keep your tree out of traffic areas and away from doorways— exits should always be clear. Also, make sure there’s a “safety zone” all around your tree—at least 3 feet away from heat sources (candles included).
  • Don’t overload circuits. With the extra lights and holiday decorations, don’t be tempted to plug too many items into your outlets. Electrical overloads are among the most common causes of fires in the home. Unplug items that aren’t in use, and never ignore a tripped fuse.
  • Before those lights go up: Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Don’t forget to check your extension cords, Throw out any damaged lights or cords.
  • Never run extension cords through doorways, under rugs, or through any high-traffic areas. This can damage the insulation and wire inside, causing a fire hazard.
  • Always disconnect all decorative lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Lights can short out and cause a fire.
  • Don’t hang light strings in any way that might damage the cord’s insulation. Never use nails or tacks. Use only insulated staples to hold strands in place, or run the strings through hooks.
  • Be careful with candles! Always display candles safely by keeping them in stable, non-flammable holders. Keep them away from things that will burn, such as other decorations or curtains— away from children and pets.

            Finally, please Test the smoke detectors installed in your residence.

For more see OBOfire website http://obo.m.state.sbu/ops/fir/default.aspx.