We often take for granted that flipping a switch will turn on a light or an appliance. And that is just fine with America’s electric companies. It means we are doing our job.
But besides making sure your home has all the power it needs, whenever it needs it, we also want to help you use it safely. Although when properly used, electricity is completely safe, electricity is the most common energy source used today. It can be easy to forget that you should treat it with a good deal of respect.
In recognition of May being “Electrical Safety Month,” the Edison Electric Institute would like to offer a few tips on keeping safe around electricity:
Outside the Home
- Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume they are ‘live’ and therefore dangerous.
- Be sure to locate power lines before you begin chores such as cleaning gutters or trimming a tree. Keep ladders away from power lines.
- Do not fly kites or toss objects around power lines. It can cause damage to the lines and possibly result in electrocution.
- If your vehicle comes into contact with power lines, the best thing to do is wait for emergency personnel to arrive. If you must exit, jump out with both feet together to a clear area and move away carefully.
- Never enter an electrical substation. Substations contain thousands of volts of electricity and should only be approached by utility professionals.
Inside the Home
- Electrical outlets should not be overloaded. Too many items plugged into one outlet is a fire and shock hazard.
- Keep electrical appliances such as radios, hairdryers, and toasters away from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. Water and electricity don’t mix, and can cause serious injury.
- If there are children in the house, be sure that all electrical outlets have safety covers. A child sticking any item into the socket can be seriously hurt.
- Unplug an electrical appliance before attempting to fix it.
- When unplugging an appliance, don’t pull on the chord. This can damage the insulation and cause shock or a fire. Instead, pull from the plug.
For more information about keeping safe around electricity, visit your electric company’s Web site, or check out the Electrical Safety Foundation International, www.esfi.org.