08:42 AM

Quiz: Plug into Safety

May is National Electrical Safety Month. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a residential fire was reported every 90 seconds in 2016. Many of those fires were caused by outdated or improperly used electrical equipment.

Are you following proper electrical safety steps to help protect your home and family? Take this quiz to find out.

  1. When should you contact a qualified electrician?
    A. Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
    B. Flickering or dimming lights
    C. A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
    D. Any of the above
  2. What is the purpose of a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet?
    A. It shuts off the electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard
    B. It protects against “brown outs”
    C. It stores electricity
    D. It shuts off the outlet if there’s a sudden power surge
  3. If there’s an electrical fire, what do you use to extinguish it?
    A. A fire extinguisher
    B. Water
  4. True or False: Using electrical cords across doorways and under carpets is safe.
    A. True
    B. False
  5. How many heat-producing appliances, like microwaves and coffee makers, can you plug in to one outlet?
    A. One
    B. Two
    C. It doesn’t matter
  6. How can you tell if you have a safe light bulb for a lamp?
    A. There isn’t a way to tell
    B. All light bulbs are the same and don’t pose a fire hazard
    C. Look for a sticker showing the wattage for a light bulb
  7. True or False: It’s OK to plug major appliances in an extension cord or power strip.
    A. True
    B. False


  1. D. You should contact a qualified electrician if you notice any of these issues. All work should be completed by a qualified electrician.
  2. A. GFCI outlets are typically installed in kitchens, bathrooms, garages and basements, where shock hazards are more likely to occur, due to exposure to water. When the GFCI detects a potential shock hazard, it turns off the electrical circuit.
  3. A. Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Water on electrical fire could cause electrocution. Use a fire extinguisher to extinguish an electrical fire. Call 911 to report the fire.
  4. B. Electrical cords across doorways and under carpets isn’t safe because they could become damaged and expose the wiring, which poses a risk for fire or electrical shock.
  5. A. Plug only one heat-producing appliance in each outlet to prevent overheating.
  6. C. On the lamp, there should be a sticker showing the maximum wattage, such as 60 watts, for a light bulb to use in the lamp.
  7. B. Major appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, etc.) should be plugged directly in a wall outlet.

*Information provided by the National Fire Prevention Association