COLUMBUS – In recognition of National Electrical
Safety Month this May, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)
offers tips to stay safe when working around electricity, indoors and
Electricity plays a vital part in everyday life. Using electricity,
you can turn on lights, prepare meals and complete home improvement
projects. However, electricity is a very powerful force, and if proper
safety measures are not taken, can be extremely dangerous and even
You can prevent accidents by practicing safety around electric appliances, tools and power lines.
Check to make sure all electric cords are free of fraying or cracking. Replace any cords that may be damaged.
When unplugging appliances, always pull from the plug, not the cord.
Avoid using extension cords, especially for a long period of time.
Do not string extension cords together, and make sure the appliances do
not exceed the amperage capability of the extension cord.
Unplug appliances when they are not in use.
Keep all electric appliances away from sinks, baths and other water
sources. If an appliance falls into water, never reach in to get it.
Never use a metal object to dislodge something from an electrical appliance.
Make sure all electric plugs fit securely into the outlet. Never
try to force a plug into an outlet, or use another object to make the
Avoid overloading an outlet with too many appliances.
Thunderstorms or other severe weather can often cause downed power
lines. Always treat a downed power line as if it were live, and do not
touch it or any objects around it. If you see a downed power line,
immediately contact local emergency responders and the local electric
Keep all ladders, scaffolding and tools at least 10 feet away from
any overhead power lines. For high-voltage lines, allow even more
clearance. Remember that overhead power lines may not be insulated like
normal electric cords, so you should never touch an overhead line.
Use clean, dry wood or fiberglass ladders around electric lines instead of metal.
When installing a satellite dish on a roof, allow a distance of at
least 1.5 times the length of the dish away from any power line. If the
dish falls during installation, do not attempt to catch it.
Before beginning a project that requires digging, call the Ohio
Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) at 8-1-1 to have underground
electric and utility wires marked. Call at least 48 hours before
Select low-growing plants and shrubs that will not grow high enough
to touch overhead power lines. If you are landscaping near an electric
transformer, plant at least 10 feet away from it.
Do not attempt to trim trees or shrubs that are growing near power
lines. Call the local electric utility if there are trees growing too
close to a power line.
Do not use electric powered lawn tools in wet conditions.
Always wear rubber-soled shoes or boots when using electric lawn tools. Never operate an electric tool barefoot.
Never allow children to climb trees that are touching electric lines.
Never allow children to fly kites, balloons or other toys near
power lines. If a flying toy becomes tangled in a power line, do not
attempt to retrieve it. Instead, call the local electric utility for
If someone receives an electric shock, do not touch the victim
because you could receive a shock. Immediately turn off the power source
and call for medical assistance.
If an electrical appliance catches on fire, do not try to put the
fire out with water. Unplug the appliance, turn off the fuse or circuit,
and use a fire extinguisher approved for use on electrical fires.
If you are in a car and come in contact with a downed power line,
stay in the car and call for help. If you need to get out of the car,
jump away from the car and do not touch both the car and the ground at
the same time. Immediately call for help, and do not provide physical
assistance to anyone who may still be in the car.
By keeping these safety tips in mind, you can prevent electrical
accidents from happening and be prepared to respond if an accident
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