Be power safe at home

JANUARY 25, 2018

Electricity is not something that anyone should underestimate. Make sure that you and your family are safe by reading these tips.

Around the house

  • Make sure bathroom and outdoor power outlets are equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).
  • Never poke fingers, toys, or anything else into wall outlets.
  • Do not overload circuits, and use a power strip for heavy usage.
  • Use electrical cords with a third (ground) prong. Never try to remove the third prong.
  • Do not plug or unplug electrical appliances, tools, or equipment with wet hands or in wet conditions.
  • Do not insert any metal implement into an electrical appliance while it is plugged in.
  • Replace damaged or frayed power cords.
  • Never attempt to disconnect your power meter, as it could explode.
  • Always have a qualified electrician perform any electrical work, including connecting an emergency or backup generator.

Outside the house

  • Before doing any work near power lines, know where all power lines are located.

  • Before digging or driving posts into the ground, call your utility provider.
  • Make sure swimming pools are situated well away from power lines.
  • Do not plant trees where they will grow into power lines.
  • Install antennas away from power lines at a distance that is at least equal to the height of the antenna, plus 3 yards.

Power lines

Take great care to avoid overhead power lines, especially when performing activities, such as:

  • Using a ladder
  • Pruning or cutting trees
  • Cleaning a pool
  • Installing or removing an antenna
  • Working on the roof
  • Carrying long tools or pipes
  • Setting up and moving scaffolding

Nothing, including rubber gloves, will protect you from the voltages carried by overhead power lines.

Danger zones

  • Always be on the lookout for fallen or sagging wires, especially after storms.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Never play around power substations, poles, towers, fences, or trees near power lines or electrical equipment.
  • Never fly kites near overhead power lines.
  • Never spray water guns or hoses at power lines.
  • Never try to open, or poke sticks or other objects into underground transformer boxes.
  • Stay out of substations and areas marked 'Keep Out' or 'Danger'. If a ball or toy lands in a high voltage area, call your electric utility to retrieve it.
  • Avoid going outdoors during a lightning storm.