Everyday Safety – Enjoy electricity the safe way

We depend on electricity, a powerful force in all of our lives. It makes so many things possible and is ever present in our homes, at work and at play, that we often take it for granted. Because it is so powerful, it is important that we use electricity safely.

  • Don't overload wiring or outlets

  • Be careful with cords, plugs, and equipment

  • Protect your electronic appliances

  • have respect for power lines

Don’t Overload Wiring Or Outlets!

Signs of overloaded wiring include:

  • Frequently blown fuses
  • Tripped breaker switches
  • Appliances heat up too slowly

Individual electrical outlets are designed to carry a limited amount of electricity, so remember:

  • Plugging too many electrical devices into one outlet can cause a fire by overloading the outlet.
  • Safety devices, such as fuse boxes and circuit breakers, help protect you by providing a warning of overloading.

If you think your wiring needs updating, deal only with licensed electrical contractors!

Be Careful With Cords, Plugs, And Equipment

Attention to small things can prevent big problems later. Some simple safety practices:

  • Grasp the plug, not the cord, when unplugging.
  • Always replace a blown fuse with the same size fuse.
  • Replace any broken or missing wall plates.
  • Put safety covers on unused outlets that are within reach of children.
  • Keep power cords clean to prevent the insulation from deteriorating.
  • Don’t use extension cords as permanent household wiring.
  • Rely on Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certified equipment.

Check for the following danger signs or hazards:

  • Frayed wires
  • Cracked or damaged insulation
  • Three-pronged (grounded) plugs altered to fit two-pronged outlets or extension cords
  • Power tools and lawn accessories plugged in when not in use
  • Warm electrical cords or light switches
  • Loose electrical outlet receptacles
  • Any feeling of electrical shock when touching appliances

When using electricity outdoors, use only three–conductor grounded power cords and plugs designed for outdoor use and connected to a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker.

Protect Your Electronic Appliances

Power surges, caused by interruptions or changes in the flow of electricity, can seriously damage your valuable electronic equipment. Of course, a surge protector is no match for a direct strike from lightning, but it can protect devices from indirect lightning and damage from small surges. Surge protectors are available through retail outlets to help protect your equipment from hundreds of dollars in damage.

Have Respect For Power Lines

Be extremely careful to avoid working within 10 feet of power lines. Do NOT attempt to cut trees off of power lines.This is a task for trained professionals.

Keep all items at least 10 feet below overhead power lines:

  • Ladders
  • Antennas
  • Boat antennas, sail masts or fishing poles
  • Pool-cleaning equipment
  • Kites

And remember these life-saving tips:

  • Stay away from a downed power line and immediately inform the Cooperative.
  • Before you did, call Palmetto Utility Protection Services (PUPS): 1-800-922-0983 for underground line locations.
  • Don’t attach signs or notices to power poles
  • Do not plant trees or shrubbery or put any obstructions within 10 feet of green transformer boxes or beneath overhead lines.

Water + Electricity = Danger

Avoid contact between electricity and water.

  • If an appliance falls in the water, do not touch it. UNPLUG IT. Even appliances that are turned off can shock you.
  • Keep appliances with cords away from sinks and bathtubs.
  • If you have a swimming pool, make sure that no overhead wiring passes over the pool and is safely routed away from the pool area.
  • When boating, launch your boat before raising the sail. Know the clearance heights of power lines crossing lakes. Always look for power lines around boat landings and lake crossings.
  • If an outlet is located near water, it should be a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet.