ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS

Downed Power Lines

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  • Assume that any downed power line is energized
  • Stay away from any downed power line and anything touching it.  The ground around the power line may be energized for as far as 35 feet
  • Don't attempt to touch anyone who is in direct contact with a downed line, as you could become the next victim.  Call 911 for help!
  • If a power line falls on your car while you are in it, stay in the car.  Honk your horn to summon for help, but direct others to stay away from the vehicle.  If you must leave the car due to fire, jump from the vehicle planting both feet on the ground simultaneously and avoid contact with both the car and the ground at the same time.

Electrical Safety in the Home

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  • Always match the light bulb with the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.  Exceeding the recommended wattage can result in overheating the wiring and could cause a fire.
  • In homes with small children, have tamper-resistant devices installed in outlets.
  • Never run an electrical cord under a carpet or across a doorway
  • Major appliances such as an air conditioner, refrigerator, stove, dryer, etc., should be plugged directly into an outlet without the use of an extension cord or plug strip.
  • It is best to plug only one heat-producing appliance such as a heater, coffee maker or toaster into a receptacle outlet at a time.
  • Electrical extension cords are intended for temporary use.  If you must use an extension cord, be sure to inspect it regularly for wear and tear.  Make sure it fits securely in the outlet and does not feel warm after use.  The best recommendation is to have a qualified electrician provide more outlets where they are needed.
  • When you need to have electrical work done, always use a qualified electrician.
  • When buying a new home or remodeling your home, have a qualified electrician do an inspection.
  • Consider having an electrician install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) so that the electricity shuts off if a dangerous condition exists.  Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are also recommended to reduce the risk of shock in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, basements and outdoors.

Outdoor Electrical Safety

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  • National Electrical Codes require that all outdoor outlets have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
  • Protect your outdoor outlets from the elements.  Be sure they are covered when not in use.
  • Keep dry leaves and other flammables swept away from outdoor lighting, outlets, and power cords.
  • When using extension cords outdoors, use only weather-resistant heavier gauge extension cords that are specifically designated for outdoor use.
  • Before placing a ladder, be sure to avoid placing it near overhead power lines or the electrical service line.
  • Remember that some power lines run underground.  Before you dig, call 811 to have primary utilities marked.
  • If an electrical device falls into a pool or water, unplug it before retrieving it.
  • Use the appropriate protective equipment for each power tool.  Safety goggles, hearing protection, and other safety gear are worth the lifetime of sight and hearing they are protecting.