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While electrical safety tips may seem like second nature to those of us who work with electricity year round, it’s not such common knowledge to the general public and consumers. Here are some tips geared specifically for the average person on the street to help you stay safe when dealing with electricity in any form.
• Know your utility company’s number and always call before you dig. To be sure you know where underground power lines may be located, contact your utility office and ask them to take a look. Allow at least a couple days notice before you plan to dig.
• Keep electric tools and equipment away from water. This means your swimming pool, a bucket of water sitting on the porch, or a sprinkler you have laying in the yard.
• Be aware of power cords and electrical lines all around. This applies not only on personal appliances, tools and equipment, but also to electrical lines that carry power to your home or garage. Watch for lines when using especially long handled tools or ladders.
• Play it safe. Keep model airplanes, kites and other high-flying toys away from power lines. It’s best to play in an open area as far from trees and electrical lines as possible.
• Keep tools and equipment in good repair. Be sure any item you use around the home has a power cord free of fraying, breaks or cracks. Never use equipment with a damaged plug or cord. You’re just waiting for an accident to happen when you do.
• Trim with caution. Tree limbs hanging over a power line can be dangerous, but extreme caution is needed when removing or trimming them. Contact your utility company before cutting limbs that could fall or affect an electrical line.
• Never become too comfortable with electricity. While you shouldn’t walk around in fear for your life just because you’re near a power line or using an electrical device, you should also avoid becoming so comfortable with them that you forget how dangerous electricity can be when mishandled. Use appropriate caution and be aware of the potential for harm.
• Don’t plug too many cords into one electrical outlet. Some people have been known to add multiple surge protectors and adapters into one outlet. These items are not designed to be used that way. Instead use only one such adapter or cord in each outlet and have additional outlets installed if necessary to cover the need for additional plugs.
• Use outlet protectors to keep children from poling things into a wall outlet. Not only can putting something into an outlet that doesn’t belong harm your child, but it can cause a fire as well. Keep your child and your home safe with an inexpensive plastic outlet cover that protects and safeguards electrical outlets.
These and other safety tips for dealing with electricity around your home can help keep your family and your household safe from electrical shock and fire. Some of the tips may sound like common sense, but many injuries are caused every day by people forgetting to use them.
There is a lot to electrical safety and Barry Atkins is on it. Writing for PAT Services, he covers all manner of topics from installation to portable appliance testers. Connect with Barry on Google+.