[NASHVILLE] – May is National Electric Safety Month. Electricity is an important part of our everyday lives, but each year unsafe and careless practices lead to fires, injuries and even deaths. Tennessee’s electric co-ops remind the public of the dangers of electricity and provides these tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Keep people and pets away from damaged power lines and other electrical equipment. Don’t touch anything in contact with downed lines such as a car, tree, fence or clothesline.
- Don’t climb trees or fly kites, remote control airplanes, drones or balloons near power lines. If you get something stuck on a power line, call your local electric cooperative or 911 and stay away!
- Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas or gutters on your home.
- If a power line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Call yourself or ask someone to call 911, then your local electric cooperative. If you must exit the car, open the door and jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle away using small steps with both feet on the ground until you are at least 50 feet away.
IN YOUR HOME
- All electrical work should be performed by a licensed electrician.
- Use GFCI-protected outlets in kitchens and bathrooms. Water and electricity do not mix.
- Routinely check cords, outlets, switches and appliances for signs of damage. Immediately stop using damaged electrical devices and have them replaced or repaired.
- Do not overload outlets with too many devices or appliances.
- Never run extension cords under rugs or carpets.
- When replacing bulbs, always follow recommended wattage recommendations.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, and replace batteries once a year.
- Don’t throw water on an electrical fire. Use an approved fire extinguisher.
ON THE FARM
- Keep equipment at least 10 feet from lines – at all times, in all directions.
- Inspect the height of the farm equipment to determine clearance.
- Always use a spotter when operating large machinery near lines.
- Use care when raising augers or the beds of grain trucks around power lines.
- Always remember to lower extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads.
- Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
- If a power line is sagging or low, call the local utility immediately.
- If your equipment does hit a power line, stay in the cab. Call 911, warn others to stay away and wait for the utility crew to cut the power. If a fire or another situation makes it necessary to leave, jump clear and move away.
Electric co-ops routinely provide electric safety demonstrations for schools and other groups. Contact your local co-op for more information or to schedule a demonstration.