FPL | Making Homes Safe

Using Electricity Safely

Cords | Plugs | Outlets | Light bulbs | Circuit breakers / fuses | Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) | Water and electricity don't mix | Entertainment / computer equipment | Electrical Emergency

When Outdoors

  • When doing any sort of yard work, always look up and be aware of the location of any power lines.
  • Do not attempt to prune any vegetation growing near or on any overhead power line.
  • Only specially-trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines.
  • Call before you dig. When installing fences, digging trenches, installing sprinklers, call "Sunshine One Call of Florida" at 1-800-432-4770 at least 2 business days in advance. Utility representatives will come to your site to locate underground equipment or call to inform you that no conflict exists with the dig site. There is no charge for this service. Calling before you dig is good, common "safety" sense and it’s the law. [For more information . . . ]
  • After a storm, when there is any chance of downed power lines, stay clear of all standing water.


During any home remodeling projects, make sure only qualified electricians work to ensure new outlets and wiring are up to code.

Use the following information to check 8 areas of your home to help make it more electrically safe. Not following these recommendations could lead to

  • an electrical shock
  • overheating or
  • a fire.

At FPL, we believe that nothing is more important than your safety.


Make sure cords are out of traffic areas and that furniture is not resting on them. In addition, make sure cords are

  • in good condition
  • not frayed or cracked and
  • never nailed or stapled to the
    • wall
    • baseboard or
    • other objects.


Plugs should

  • fit securely
  • never be forced into an outlet if they don't and
  • be the proper type.

Never cut off the ground pin (the third prong) from a plug. Use a two-prong adapter instead.


Check outlets for

  • loose-fitting plugs
  • broken wall plates and
  • overloaded situations.

Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.

Light bulbs

Check bulbs to be sure they are

  • screwed in securely and
  • the correct wattage for the fixture.

Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended.

Circuit breakers / fuses

Circuit breakers and fuses should always be the correct size for the circuit. Never replace a fuse with anything but the correct size fuse. If you don't know the correct size fuse, have an electrician identify and label the sizes to be used.

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

GFCIs (or GFIs) should be used in any area where water and electricity may come into contact. Test GFCIs regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Water and electricity don't mix

Don't place any electrical appliance near water, such as a sink or bathtub. Appliances that are used near water should be unplugged when not in use. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, unplug it and don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repairperson.

Entertainment / computer equipment

Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs, cords and connectors.


Electrical Emergencies

If an emergency does occur,

Outdoor (high voltage) electricity

  • Contact the police and emergency medical services.
  • Do NOT touch the person.
  • Do NOT try to use a tool to free the person.

Indoor (low-voltage/100 Volts) electricity

  • Contact emergency medical services.
  • Don't touch anyone who is in contact with an energized circuit.
  • Switch off power at the fuse or circuit-breaker box, or pull the plug.
  • Call the electric company if you cannot get the power shut off.