Even though electricity is the safest form of energy, it must be used carefully. Although electricity cannot be seen, smelled, or heard, it can be felt and just one touch can be deadly. You can keep yourself and family members safe by observing the following safety tips for using electricity safety inside your home or outside your home. Always unplug small electrical appliances after using them.
Electricity Safety Inside Your HomeTo keep yourself and family members safe around electricity INSIDE your home, it's important to observe the following basic safety rules:
- Even when the switch says "off," power is still present and appliances can electrocute you if they contact water. Never use an electrical appliance near a tub or sink. If an appliance falls into water, do not reach for it. Immediately unplug it from the wall outlet. When you unplug an appliance, always pull the plug, not the cord. And make sure appliance and extension cords are not frayed. If the cords are frayed, replace them.
- Do not run appliance cords behind radiators, under carpets, through doorways, around pipes, or near metal products. Do not plug too many appliances into one socket. Wires may overheat, destroy insulation, and cause a fire. Never place a space heater near draperies or other flammable material, and never leave it on when no one is in the room. Never leave a small child unattended near a space heater.
- If an electrical appliance sputters, stalls, or gives the slightest shock when touching it, disconnect it and have it repaired. Look for the underwriter's laboratory label on every appliance before you buy it. Know where your fuse box or circuit breaker panel is located. Label the circuits so that if you need to, you can quickly shut off the power to an appliance or living area.
- Have a Class C fire extinguisher in your home to extinguish electrical fires and check the extinguisher periodically. Don't attempt to do home wiring improvements yourself. Call a qualified electrical contractor. Take the time to educate your children about these important life saving tips.
Electricity Safety Outside Your HomeTo keep yourself and family members safe around electricity outside your home, it's important to observe the following basic safety rules:
- Never trim or remove trees yourself near power lines. Hire a trained qualified crew to do the work.
- Avoid planting new trees where they might grow into an overhead power line.
- Never use electrical tools if your hands or feet are wet or if you are standing on damp ground.
- Look up and check the clearance from overhead lines in all directions before installing or removing an antenna for TV or radio, or before using a ladder or a skimming rod to clean a swimming pool.
- If you are planting trees, installing a sprinkler system or working on any other project that involves digging, call MISS DIG at 800-482-7171. Use this number to locate all underground utility lines.
- Teach children never to climb trees or fly kites near overhead lines.
- If an overhead line falls on your car as a result of an accident, stay in the car if you can and wait for help.
- If you must exit the car, jump away from it as far as you can, being careful not to touch the ground and the car at the same time.
- If you see a broken or fallen overhead line, assume it is "live" and call 517-279-9531 or 911 immediately. Call 517-279-9531 if a kite, metallic balloon, or model airplane gets caught in a power line. Never try to retrieve it yourself!
- Use only non-metallic string or cord to fly kites.
- Keep children away from transformers and other utility equipment.