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The nature of electricity is to always find the easiest path to ground. The large, round third prong automatically makes an easier path to ground and prevents accidents. Never disable safety by cutting off the third prong.

Most modern appliances come with grounding plugs. Use them in three-prong outlets, especially around areas where moisture builds up, like cellars, garages and outdoors. Expensive electronics also need a three-prong outlet to protect them from power surges.

Every 10 years, renew this inexpensive insurance ...

One of the most crucial home safety devices is the electrical grounding wire. It prevents shock, fire and damage during a major power surge, such as a lightning strike on a substation.

Grounding wires run from your meter to underground rods or to copper water pipes. Grounding wires can become corroded or damaged. As your yard settles, your lawn mower may have hit a grounding connection without your even knowing it.

If your home is more than 10 years old, call an electrician to have your grounding wire checked or replaced.