Electrical Safety Tips
Never overload electrical outlets – extension cords and similar devices allow you to plug more appliances than the outlet can support. Over time, the excess electrical load can cause the wiring to overheat and cause a fire. Instead of overloading a single outlet, have a licensed electrician install new outlets at convenient locations.
Teach your children electrical safety – Taking the time to teach your children how to properly use electricity could save their lives. Teach them to recognize ‘Danger – High Voltage’ signs, and to stay away from transformers, substations, utility poles, and guy wires. Make sure your children know to play with kites in open areas well away from power lines. Ensure your children know to keep objects (especially little fingers) out of electrical outlets, toasters, and other appliances. Use plug covers in unused outlets, especially around toddlers and infants.
Anything attached to a utility pole could carry electricity, even the pole itself. If a live wire comes in contact with a pole or guy wire, the entire pole can become energized.
Stay clear of downed power lines – If you see a power line down, call the local police immediately, sparks or no sparks! Stay inside, or as far away from the downed line as you can.
Never remove the grounding prong from electrical cords – The grounding prong (the round prong longer than the other two prongs) helps prevent electrical accidents in the event of a short circuit or electrical surge. Removing this prong removes this safety measure. Surge protectors also use this grounding prong to offload excess electricity in the event of a power surge.
Water and electricity never mix – Have a licensed electrician install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, and outdoor outlets. In an accident, GFCIs can cut off the power source in under a second, preventing electrocution.
Be safe when working in your yard – When using electrical tools such as weed-whackers, hedge trimmers, or power tools, make sure to plug them into extension cords marked ‘For Outdoor Use,’ and use a cord which has a larger amp rating than the tools you’ll be using. Plug the extension cord into a grounded outlet, or better yet a GFCI. Also, be mindful of wires when moving ladders or overhead equipment.
Plan ahead for storms and outages – Keep flashlights, fresh batteries, and candles on hand in the event of a power outage. If the power goes out, remember to unplug major appliances and computer equipment so they aren’t destroyed by a power surge when electricity is restored.