Electricity is an important part of our everyday lives. Even though it is simple to use, there are things to remember every time you flip the light switch or plug in the toaster.
Electricity is very powerful and very harmful if used improperly. Here are some safety tips that everyone should know about electricity.
- Always unplug appliances before you clean them.
- Don’t overload outlets with cords.
- Have your circuits and wiring checked if your fuses or circuit breakers blow often.
- Unplug small appliances when you’re done using them and move them to the back of your counters.
- Use all three prongs of your electric plugs and replace worn cords immediately. Never force a plug into an outlet or tack cords to walls or floors.
- Never stick anything other than an electrical plug into an outlet. Teach kids the same. Use outlet covers when kids are too young to understand.
- Keep appliances away from water and sinks.
- Only use appliances that are approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL should be on the label).
- Give your appliances room to breathe all the way around the unit. Don’t use them in cabinets or too close to walls.
- Level your appliances so they don’t tip. Too much movement can cause stress on electrical connections – especially with clothes washers and dryers.
- Be careful not to knock over space heaters or keep them near combustibles.
- Keep electric blankets in good condition and watch for breaks in the wiring, plugs or connectors. Look for charred spots. Don’t place other bedding on top of an electrical blanket and don’t let pets sleep on them to avoid overheating.
- Don’t run cords under carpets or furniture, which can overheat and cause a fire.
- Never unplug anything by pulling the cord. Use the base of the plug to remove it from the outlet.
- Outdoor outlets should be on a circuit protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFI).
- Don’t fly kites near power lines.
- Don’t climb trees near power lines.
- Keep television and radio antennas away from power lines.
- If you have overhead power lines, be cautious of the drop line from the utility pole to your house. Don’t touch it or let other wires touch it.
- Overhead powers lines are NOT insulated, so don’t touch them!
- Don’t let kids play near pad-mounted transformers.
- Before digging, call 811 to have your underground power lines located.
- Never touch a downed power line or try to remove it if it hits a car. Call the electric company immediately.
If an accident occurs:
- If a power line is down, don’t touch it. Call your electric company and warn others. If a power line falls on your car while you are in it, stay inside unless it catches fire. If it catches fire, jump clear of the car and power line without touching metal and the ground at the same time.
- When someone receives an electric shock, their breathing and heartbeat could stop. Shocks can also burn skin, nerves, tissue and muscles inside the body. Do not touch the person or attempt to move them. Turn off the main power source and call 911. If the person is not breathing or the person’s heart has stopped, make sure that he/she is not connected to the source of electric shock and perform CPR.