Electric energy plays an important part of our everyday lives. Because electricity is involved in some way in nearly everything we do, at work and at home, we tend to take it for granted. That can be a serious mistake. Electricity has the potential to injure or even kill.
Electricity needs to have a complete path, or circuit, back to its source and flows only when it completes a circuit. Conductors are materials that allow electric current to flow. Aluminum, brass, copper, silver, gold, and water make good conductors. Glass, rubber, and plastic are poor conductors. Human bodies are good conductors because they are made up of 70% water. Electricity flows only when the circuit is complete – you don’t ever want electricity to complete the circuit path through you.
If an electrical hazard is present, do not approach it, call Cedar-Knox PPD and we will assist you.
Outdoor Safety Tips
- Remind children not to play around electrical structures such as padmount transformers and substations. Flying kites near overhead power lines can be deadly.
- Keep ladders and tall farm equipment, such as augers and irrigation pipes away from overhead power lines.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle after an accident, stay in your vehicle, unless your engine catches fire. If you must get out, jump out of your car landing with both feet on the ground and hop with both feet together at least 15 feet away. Never touch the ground and car at the same time.
Indoor Safety Tips
- Never overload outlets with too many plugs.
- Never pull a plug out by the cord.
- Never use radios or hair dryers around baths and showers.
- Never put metal silverware into a plugged-in toaster.
- Electricity and water do not mix. If your basement is flooded, make sure the power to your house is off before walking through the water.
- Check to see that extension cords are not overheated. If they feel warm, they should be replaced. Also, extension cords are only designed for temporary use. They are not safe as permanent household wiring.
- Make sure the proper-type plug is in each outlet. If you are using three-prong plugs in a room with two-conductor outlets, do not cut off the ground pin (the third/bottom prong) from the plug; this could lead to an electrical shock hazard. A better solution is to use a two-prong adapter.
- Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) can prevent many electrocutions. GFCIs are devices installed in kitchen and bathroom outlets. They should be used in any area where water and electricity may come into contact. Test GFCIs regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure they are working properly.
- Check the wattage of all light bulbs in lighting fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended; if you don’t know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat.
- Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct sizes for the circuits. If you do not know the correct size fuse, have an electrician identify and label the sizes to be used. Never replace a fuse with anything but another correct size fuse.
If one appliance repeatedly blows a fuse or trips a circuit breaker, or if it has emitted an electric shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.