The energy that powers us has become so commonplace that people sometimes forget the importance of using electricity safely. Your electric cooperative takes electrical safety seriously. They’re the experts who practice and rely on safety every day. Tap into their knowledge with these tools and tips to reduce preventable accidents and help keep all co-op members safe in and around their homes.
Electrical safety for kids
Your electric cooperative has a commitment to electrical safety education. To teach children about safe practices with electricity, it is imperative to also teach them about electricity itself.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International has valuable resources for educators, parents and anyone who wants to create awareness of electrical safety for kids.
Safety at home
Here’s a statistic we don’t like to see: Approximately 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. Extension cords can overheat and cause fires when used improperly, so keep these important tips in mind to protect your home.
- Don’t attempt to plug extension cords into one another
- Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used
- Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water
- Do NOT overload extension cords
- A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed where you need them
- Inspect cords for damage before use. Check for cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections
- NEVER nail or staple extension cords to walls or baseboards
- NEVER run extension cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, or floors. If a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard
- Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots. Never cut off the ground pin to force a fit, which could lead to electric shock
Safety during disasters
South Carolina is no stranger to natural disasters. We can experience tropical storms, hurricanes, floods and even ice storms in the winter. Staying safe during a weather event means following our simple steps in advance.
- Unplug appliances and electronics in advance of storms to protect them from power surges.
- Use battery-powered lanterns and flashlights instead of candles, which can start a fire.
- DO NOT OPERATE GENERATORS INSIDE OR NEAR YOUR HOME. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can harm you.
- Alert your electric cooperative about downed power lines. NEVER go close to a downed power line. Assume all downed lines are still energized and dangerous.
- Use caution around flooded areas. Submerged outlets or electrical cords can pose a lethal trap.
- Have an electrician inspect your home and appliances before using electricity after any flooding or water damage.
- Never go close to downed power lines or any standing water near them.