Give Practical Holiday Gifts That Help Keep Loved Ones Safe
Inevitably someone on your holiday shopping lists qualifies as that “hard to shop for person.” The Safe Electricity program recommends getting these people practical gifts that will help keep them safe.
- Portable Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet – A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from the hot wire in the circuit to the neutral or return wire. If there is any imbalance, it shuts off the circuit. A GFCI is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one-thirtieth of a second. Such a device can avert an electrocution or other tragedy which might occur without the safety of a grounding connection.
- Plug-in GFCI tester – If a GFCI outlet does not have a built-in tester, this is a useful tool in determining whether the GFCI protection of that outlet is functioning properly. It is recommended that outlets be tested monthly.
- Heavy duty extension cord – Often the tools or equipment necessary for larger projects are energized through extension cords that are inadequate for the heavier electrical load. Make sure the cord used is appropriately rated for the electrical load to which it will be connected.
- Power strip that has a built-in circuit breaker – Too many appliances and electronic devices plugged into the same circuit may require more power than is available. Tripping a circuit breaker on a power strip is much better than creating an overload in the circuit box in the basement.
- Smoke detectors and batteries – Smoke detectors are necessities in every home and can save lives. In fact, most homes could use more of these inexpensive safety devices. Even batteries for smoke detectors make great gifts. They serve as an important reminder that batteries should be replaced in smoke detectors twice a year.
- Flashlight and weather radio – During power outages, it is always a good idea to have a flashlight and weather radio on hand, so this holiday season you can make sure your loved ones are prepared for the next power outage. Plus, if that flashlight is a rechargeable LED flashlight, you’ve also added energy efficiency to the gift package!
- Gift certificate for a home electrical safety inspection – Electrical contractors have the equipment and knowledge to identify potential electrical problems, and your gift certificate may find a hidden problem that averts tragedy.
- Non-contact voltage tester – This is an inexpensive tool that any DIYer should have as it detects the presence of voltage without touching a bare wire.
For more information and videos on electrical safety, visit www.SafeElectricity.org.