Every day, we rely on electricity to power our homes and offices. However, it can be easy to take for granted the safety of electric appliances and equipment and power lines. May is National Electrical Safety Month—a great time to raise awareness of how to avoid potential electrical hazards.
- Check electric cords for fraying or cracking. Replace cords that may be damaged, and don’t overload electric outlets.
- Extension cords are intended to be temporary. If you find yourself using extension cords regularly, have an electrician add outlets where you need them.
- Don’t run cords under carpets or rugs and don’t tack or nail cords to walls or floors.
- Keep electric appliances and tools away from water. Never reach for or unplug an appliance that has fallen into water; instead, turn the power off at the breaker before you unplug the appliance or remove it from the water.
- Never put anything other than an electrical plug in an outlet. Use outlet covers or caps to protect children.
- Keep your home’s electrical system in good repair. Contact a licensed electrical contractor if you have flickering lights, sparks or nonfunctioning outlets, or need wiring repairs or upgrades.
- Never touch downed power lines.
- Always call 911 or your electric cooperative if you see lines down.
- Watch for overhead lines every time you use a ladder, work on roofs or in trees, or carry long tools or tall loads. Keep kites, drones and metallic balloons away from power lines.
- Know what’s below before you dig. Call 811 three days in advance of your project to have underground utility lines, pipes and cables marked for free.
- Avoid planting trees underneath power lines or near utility equipment.