1. Home

What's a Polarized Plug?

By

Question: What's a Polarized Plug?
What is a polarized plug and why is it important for appliances to have this kind of plug on the electrical cord?
Answer: A polarized plug can be found at the end of an appliance's electrical cord. For safety reasons, the polarized plug has one blade wider than the other and the polarized plug can only be inserted one way into the electrical outlet. The plug is used to connect an appliance to a home's standard electrical outlet.

All electrical products sold in the US or Canada must meet electrical certification guidelines before they can be marketed. These certified products must have a polarized plug to reduce the hazard of electrical shock. The polarized plug has another safety feature, a ground prong, making it a three-prong plug.

Vintage appliances or lighting fixtures should not be put into use unless the old unsafe two-prong non-polarized type of plug has been changed to a certified polarized plug and meets current electrical standards and regulations.

Electrical cords and polarized plugs should be checked occasionally for any signs of deterioration. If such is detected, discontinue use until the damaged area is replaced with a certified part. Handle electrical cords and polarized plugs with care, never try to force the plug into an outlet and avoid bending the prongs.

Read More About Home Safety:

Installing Child-Proof Locks on Cabinet Doors
When Should You Have a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Child-Proofing Your Home Video
Choosing a Safe Stepladder
Dryer Lint Filter Safety

Go to Main Home Safety Page
Go to Home Page

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.