Indoor Electrical Safety

Home should be a place of comfort for you and your family. Safety requires some work and education, especially with kids in the house. To help protect your family, we encourage you to educate children at a young age about electrical safety.

Some of the important lessons that you should share with your kids are:

  • Let them know that water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Never sit, stand, or attempt to walk through water that is in contact with an electric appliance or toy.
  • Emphasize that electronics and their accessories have to be handled with care. Encourage younger children to ask for help when they want to use an electronic device.
  • Electrical cords and outlets can be of interest to curious young minds, but should be left alone. Never put fingers or objects such as forks or knives into electrical outlets.
  • Also, never stick fingers or objects into toasters or any other electrical appliance.

When you have toddlers around the house, please take precautions:

  • Child proof outlets. One way to do this is to use tamper resistant receptacles. Small fingers can easily fit into sockets, and curious children may poke objects into outlets. A tamper resistant outlet has a shutter system that only accepts electric plugs. Another option is to use simple outlet plugs.
  • Leave cords out of sight so that children are not tempted to play with them. Holders, spools, and clips can help you do this.
  • Never leave chargers or extension cords plugged in. A curious child may put a cord into his or her mouth and suffer an electric burn.
  • Supervise children closely when they play with electronic toys.
  • Repair or dispose of damaged electronics and cords.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection to prevent shocks. GFCIs detect and prevent dangerous situations where an electric shock could occur. You should have GFCIs anywhere that water and electricity may meet—such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

A reminder for those installing electric vehicle chargers 

Residents are required to obtain a permit from the city if they are replacing or making modifications to their electrical panel inside their house to install an electric vehicle charger. When you obtain a permit, the city’s inspector will review the completed work to ensure the work in compliance with the city's electrical code and is safe for the resident. Any unpermitted work by and unqualified contractor puts the resident at risk of violations of city code which will result in penalty.  

Visit the City's Building Permit Applications webpage for details on electric service permits.