It's something many of us take for granted, and few think about it on a daily basis, but we rely on it every moment we spend in our homes; Safety.

May is "Building Safety Month" which, according to the International Code Council sets out to remind people of the importance of having a home that is up to code.

"Building Safety Month is an international campaign that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety. This campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, and helps individuals, families, and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures."

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Each year they have a different theme, and this year's theme is "Building Safety is Personal".

"As part of our 'Building Safety is Personal' theme, this week we're highlighting "Building Safety Starts At Home" and how building safety impacts our everyday life as family members, friends, and individuals at home. Here we'll dive into everything from fire safety tips and home maintenance best practices, to how to be more sustainable to ensure a cleaner and greener tomorrow."

The City of Bangor's Code Enforcement Department has released a number of safety tips throughout the years.

A number of those tips deal specifically with electrical outlet safety, knowing that many folks may not realize the dangers an overloaded outlet or extension cord may pose.

"Overloaded receptacle outlets and undersized electrical extension cords can cause a fire or electrocution danger. Please take proper safety precautions and use an extension cord that is appropriate for the setting in which it is needed."

Here are some things you may want to keep in mind when it comes to electrical outlets and extension cords:

*Careful Not To Overload Your Cords/Strips

Every electrical cord or power strip has a certain load of electricity it's designed to handle. Some have less and some have more. It's important to check to see what that load is and then make sure whatever you have plugged into it doesn't exceed that limit. Don't just think because you plug it into the wall and it has 10 outlets, that you could safely plug 10 refrigerators into it. That's not the best idea.

*Get Cords that have overload protection and that have been tested. 

Getting something that's been tested by a product safety lab is always a good idea. It's an extra safety step that's been taken before you even get the items back to your home/structures.

*Throw Away Your Damaged Cords

You should never plug in a cord that is damaged or frayed. That's just asking for trouble. Whether it be an extension cord, a power strip, or even phone charges! If it's been damaged, toss it out. Buying a new cord is way less expensive than replacing a wall, a home or God forbid, losing a life.

If you want some more information, here are a couple of great extension cord/power strip safety videos.

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