Electricity is all around us. It’s an important and essential part of our lives. But because it’s so fast and powerful, we don’t get a second chance. That’s why it’s so critical to be safe the first time. Because with electricity, there are no second chances.
One of the most important things to know about electricity is that it always wants to go to ground. And when we get between the ground and electricity, that’s when we can get into trouble.
10 Electrical Safety Tips
- Don’t go near downed lines; don’t assume a line is de-energized (or dead) just because it’s down. Don’t pick up or touch a downed line. When it comes to downed power lines, just don’t.
- Contact with overhead power lines is the most common type of electrocution. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when working outside. Know where the power lines are located and make sure any object you’re holding won’t get close to or touch an overhead line.
- Electricity and water don’t mix. Keep anything electrically powered away from water and keep appliances away from sinks. Most accidents around the house happen when people use electricity near water.
- The wires leading to your home, also known as service entrance wires, are off limits. Typically, these wires have thick black coating that some people mistake for insulation. These wires are not insulated and will not keep you safe, so do not go near them. If you need to perform work around these lines, such as cleaning gutters or working on your roof, Alabama Power can temporarily disconnect the service for free so you can work safely. Call us at 1-800-245-2244 to set up an appointment.
- Recognize the danger of buried utility lines. If you need to dig or break ground for any reason, even for something simple like planting bushes or installing a mailbox, have all underground utilities marked first. Call 811 at least three business days before your project, and utility employees will mark all underground lines for you at no charge.
- Teach your kids about electrical safety. They should know electric appliances, cords and outlets are not toys and should be left alone. Take extra steps to keep children safe: cover all electrical outlets and make sure cords are in good shape and not damaged or frayed.
- Don’t climb on or play near electrical equipment. And tell your kids: don’t go in substations, don’t sit on underground transformers, don’t swing on guy wires and don’t run into power poles. Stay away from this equipment because it is energized or it could become energized.
- Don’t fly kites or balloons near power lines. Instead, choose an open area away from potential dangers. Kites can become tangled in a power line, creating a path to ground through you. If your kite were to become tangled in a power line, don’t try and get it down, just let it go. Kites and balloons can be replaced – you cannot.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets. Wires and other components in an electrical circuit have a maximum amount of electricity they can carry safely. If too many devices are plugged into an outlet, the current will heat the wires and may cause a fire.
- If someone or a pet comes in contact with electricity, call 911 immediately. Stay away and tell others to stay away, too.