Residential Safety Tips
Electric power gives us light and warmth, but without safety precautions it can also be dangerous.
Are Your Electrical Appliances Safe?
Repair or dispose of appliances that exhibit any of these danger signs:
- Broken or damaged outlets or switches
- Electrical cords with exposed wires
- Loose electrical plugs
- Damaged extension cords
Electricity & Water Don’t Mix
- Never touch anything electrical when you have wet hands.
- Don’t use electrical appliances such as hair dryers or radios in a wet place or near water.
- Unless it’s mounted in the wall, do not use an electrical heater for warmth in the bathroom.
- Do not have electrical cords or appliances near a swimming pool.
What About Storms?
- The most common cause of power outages are trees branches downing power lines, so be aware of any large limbs threatening the ones near your home. Never try to trim them yourself – call your local power company to make them aware of the problem and schedule a time for them to prune them.
- If power is lost during a storm, turn off or unplug electrical appliances so there is not a power surge when the electricity is restored.
- If there is flooding, check carefully for water around electrical items and never use appliances if they are wet.
- After a storm, report fallen power lines and stay clear of them until they are repaired.
- Coming into contact with overhead power lines can be fatal so be very cautious!
- Never play with kites or toy planes near overhead power lines. If a toy happens to get caught in a power line, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Call your power company instead.
- Watch out for power lines if you are carrying tall metal items like ladders or if you are installing something on a roof, like antennas.
Holiday Electrical Safety
Displaying lights and other decorations is a holiday tradition that can be hazardous if you are not careful.
- Do not use nails or staples to secure light strings or electrical cords.
- Avoid overload extension cords or electrical outlets and keep an eye out for frayed extension cords.
- Do not connect more than three strings of lights together.
- Keep trees and any other flammable decorations away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators.
- Turn off your decorations when you are sleeping or away from home. Use programmable timers to make sure you don’t forget.
- Plug all outdoor electric decorations into grounded circuits to avoid potential shocks.
- Do not string lights on trees that are near power lines.
- When using lights on the exterior of your home, point the sockets down to avoid water collecting in them. You should also wrap a plastic bag around any exposed connections.