Electrical power is not only convenient, but a necessity of modern life. Used safely, electricity improves the quality of life for all Americans. But electric lines or electric fixtures are nothing to play around with. Implement these safety measures in and around your home and teach your kids to respect electric lines and wiring.

Outdoor Electrical Safety

Stay out of substations. If a ball or toy goes into a substation, children should tell an adult to call the power company. Never try to retrieve toys yourself.

Keep away! If you see a fallen line, stay far away. The line can be dangerous, even if it’s not sparking. Notify Plateau Electric Cooperative and 911 immediately.

Stay clear of high-voltage lines. Never touch or climb on these towers. Overhead wires and other tower equipment carry very high voltage electricity that is dangerous to contact.

Always use them when outdoors. GFCIs shut off power to prevent serious shock. GFCI protection is required for outdoor areas, crawl spaces and garages. Portable GFCIs are available.

Don’t dig near them or pry open. Transformers are locked inside sturdy metal cabinets for safety. If you find one unlocked, keep away and call Plateau Electric Cooperative immediately.

Caught in a lightning storm? Avoid trees and bodies of water. Get into an enclosed vehicle or house. Caught in the open? Squat with feet together, tuck head and cover ears.

Wait in the vehicle for rescuers. If you must leave due to hazards, jump clear of hidden lines. Don’t touch vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with feet together and shuffle away.

Call before you dig. If you hit an underground power line you could be fatally injured. Before digging or moving earth in any way, call your one-call utility locater service.

Work and play safely around trees. Contact Plateau Electric Cooperative before trimming trees near overhead power lines. Don’t let kids climb trees near power lines.

Fly them away from power lines. Kites or balloons that contact power lines can cause shock or fire, so keep them away from overhead lines. Keep conductive metallic balloons indoors.

Keep your distance! When carrying and using ladders and other long tools, keep them at least 10 feet away from all overhead lines.

Select tools designed for outdoor use. They should be double insulated or have three-way grounded plugs. Keep power saw, drill and hammer cords where they can’t be cut.

Indoors Electrical Safety

Frayed cords are dangerous. Cord insulation keeps electricity in the wires, where it belongs. Regularly check appliance power cords and connections for wear; don’t use damaged cords.

Practice extension cord safety. Extension cords are only for temporary use. Never put them under rugs or furniture, as they can overheat or become damaged.

In case of burnt toast… Never insert metal into a toaster under any circumstances. Metal conducts electricity. If you must remove burnt toast, unplug the toaster first.

Don’t mix water and electricity. Electricity flows easily through water. Keep hairdryers, curling irons, electric razors, electric toothbrushes and other appliances away from water.

Water and electricity can be shocking. Always unplug an appliance before cleaning it. Even if turned off, it can shock you. Use outlets with GFCIs for appliances near sinks.

Keep little hands out of trouble. If small children are in your home, put safety covers on all electrical outlets that are within their reach. Keep appliances and cords away from children.

Keep these items handy: Flashlights, battery-powered radio, fresh batteries, bottled water, canned and dried foods, blankets, manual can opener, first aid supplies.

Make sure it’s safe. Never operate a home backup generator without a properly installed transfer switch to isolate your home wiring from main power lines.

Keep your family safe. Keep flammable items far from light bulbs, heaters, or toasters. Install smoke detectors, keep extinguishers on hand, and have a fire escape plan.

GFCIs can save your life. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) cut power in time to previous serious shock. Use in bathrooms, garages, near kitchen sinks and outdoors.

Keep the holidays happy. Always turn off holiday lights before you leave home. Keep trees, boxes, and wrapping paper away from heat sources.

Don’t overload outlets. An overloaded outlet is a fire hazard. If yours are overloaded with too many plugs, consider having a qualified electrician install additional outlets.