Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety Around the Home BeAwareEverywhere Link

Here are a few tips to stay safe at home:

  • Never put fingers or other objects in electric outlets. Cover outlets to keep children away.
  • Throw away old or frayed extension cords. They can cause a fire.
  • Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) safety outlets in bathrooms and kitchens. They monitor electric current and trip the circuit, cutting off electricity if there is a loss of current.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from water. Water and electricity do not mix.
  • Use light bulbs that are the proper wattage for the fixture. Improper wattage bulbs can cause an electrical fire.
  • Turn off appliances before unplugging them. Pull the plug not the cord when unplugging appliances.
  • Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Use the appropriate fire extinguisher.
  • Never tamper with your electrical meter. It is illegal and unsafe.

Visit Be Aware. Everywhere. for more safety tips!

Safety Around Overhead Power Lines

Serious outdoor accidents involving electricity occur around the house, on work sites and farms. Most of these accidents could be prevented with these simple safety tips from Dixie Electric Power Association:

  • First, make sure you, your family or your employees know the location of overhead power lines, and map out ways to avoid them when moving equipment. Make sure everyone understands that any contact with these lines carries the potential for a serious, even fatal, accident. Taking a moment to plan before beginning work could save a life.
  • To prevent accidental contact with lines, know the height of all your farm equipment and the height of the power lines. Mississippi state law provides a 10-foot right of way along either side of a power line. Tall equipment must be kept out of this right of way zone.
  • Be extra careful when moving pipes. Many electrical accidents on farms occur when irrigation pipes are accidentally raised into power lines. This combination can be deadly.
  • Avoid moving large equipment alone. Have someone watch as you drive equipment to ensure that you stay clear of power lines.
  • These rules also apply to guy wires that support power line poles. Steer mowers, tractors and other equipment clear of these wires. Damaging guy wires can weaken the poles, and even, cause them to topple, bringing live power lines down onto the ground and creating an extremely hazardous situation.
  • Caution should be taken when installing antennas, satellites or while performing other general maintenance on a roof. Contact with power lines is life threatening.

Safety Around Fallen Power Lines

Is it dead or alive?  That power line you see lying on the ground can be either; you can’t tell by looking.

Severe storms, automobile accidents, fire and other circumstances can cause power lines to fall to the ground.  When you see a fallen or damaged power line, remember this life saving lesson – never touch a power line!

Dixie Electric Power Association urges you to assume every power line is “live,” meaning it still has electricity flowing through it and can seriously burn you or even cause fatal injuries if you touch it.

  • Wires that are “dead” can suddenly become energized when crews are working on them. Stay away from power lines and warn others, especially children to stay away too.
  • Don’t touch anything that is touching the power line, such as a fence, a car or piece of machinery. If a wire falls on your car while you’re in it, stay put. Wait for help to arrive before opening the door.

If you see a power line on the ground, call Dixie Electric Power Association, or alert the police, sheriff’s office or fire department immediately.

Although accidents involving electricity are rare, they can happen when people get careless.  Following a few simple safety rules and teaching them to your children, can prevent tragedy.

Utility lines are also buried in the ground. Beware of the possibility of underground power lines before digging.

Substations: No Place for Play

Electrical substations are surrounded by high fences for a good reason. They are no place for children to play and explore.

An electrical substation operates under a high-voltage electrical load, which can be as much as 100,000 volts. That’s reason enough for unauthorized individuals to stay away from substation, but young children may not understand the danger involved in playing around a substation. It’s up to adults to teach them the danger that lies within substation fences.

An electrical substation receives high-voltage electricity delivered from generating plants by long-distance power lines and converts it to a lower voltage for distribution to consumers.

Utility workers who maintain the substation know the potential hazards and are specially trained in working with high voltages. Other individuals must stay away from substations and teach children to respect this danger zone.

Generator Safety

Generators are beneficial during power outages, but they can also be dangerous here are a few brochures and tips about generators.

Portable Generators: Safety First – Safety tips for generator operation
How to Safely Operate a Generator – Recommendations for safe generator maintenance, sizing and operation

NEVER connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring unless through a transfer switch. This can energize power lines endangering electric utility workers. Connect appliances directly to the generator. Operate your generator outdoors, NOT in a garage, carport or storage room. And always read the instructions first.

  • Use your portable generator outside to avoid dangerous exhaust fumes.
  • Generators must be connected to your home through a transfer switch. Transfer switches should be installed by a qualified electrician in compliance with all local and national codes.
  • Be sure the generator you have selected has ample capacity to supply the lighting, appliances and equipment you plan to connect. Consult an electrician for assistance if needed.
  • Purchase your portable electric generator from an established dealer who can provide service and maintenance if needed.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly.
  • Do not operate your generator while standing in wet conditions. This could cause an electrical shock to anyone who comes in contact.
  • For personal safety, make sure your generator is grounded so it does not become electrically charged.
  • Only connect appliances directly to a portable generator. Do not connect the generator directly to the wiring system in your home or other building through outlets or your meter. This may damage your wiring system or back feed electricity, endangering utility workers restoring your line.
  • Do not attempt to fill the generator’s fuel tank while it is operating as the gasoline may ignite.
  • Do not tamper with the engine speed adjustment. This could cause overheating and cause a fire.
  • Have a charged fire extinguisher nearby as a precaution.