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Electrical Safety

Electricity powers our daily lives. No matter your surroundings, we remind you to be aware and stay safe.


Keep an emergency kit handy, and make sure it includes plenty of bottled water and non-perishable food for up to two weeks, blankets, additional clothing, a flashlight, extra batteries, and a battery-powered radio.

Know and plan for your family’s medical needs. Take inventory of your electrical needs and consider both backup and non-power alternatives. Discuss a plan with your primary care or medical device provider for your medical needs.

Identify family or friends with who you can stay with in case of an extended power outage. Plan how and when to evacuate safely to maintain needs such as power-dependent medical devices. Keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half full or your electric vehicle half charged.

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Stay connected to local weather reports and your local public power utility on power restoration updates.

Thoroughly read and follow all manufacturer instructions if using a portable generator.


Never touch a downed power line or any object touching a downed power line.

Never heat your home's interior using a camp stove, charcoal grills, gas stoves, or ovens. This can create a carbon monoxide hazard. 

Don’t plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home’s electrical system – as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.

Never run a portable generator inside confined spaces. 

Don’t continuously open and close external home doors. Cool or warm air can escape quickly.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek help.


Be aware of overhead power lines and their exact locations at all times. Avoid equipment contact with overhead power lines.

If you must go under or near a power line, have someone spot for you to make sure there is plenty of clearance. Learn hand signals for communicating with your spotter.

Move irrigation pipe, augers and other farm equipment with extreme caution. Aluminum irrigation pipe is light, easy to carry and conducts electricity.

Lower tillage equipment before pulling it under power lines. Make sure that truck beds are completely lowered.

Equipment should maintain a minimum 10-foot clearance from lines, because electricity can arc through the air between the line and the grounded equipment.

Water and electricity do not mix. If you are working in damp conditions, always plug into an outlet that has a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. For pivot irrigation systems, make sure the panel boxes are watertight and always shut and locked.

Know where your fuse boxes and circuit breakers are located. Teach your hired help and family members where they are located as well.

Always have an emergency plan in place. Teach hired help and family members what to do in case of an emergency.


Don't attempt to fix any damaged guy wires. Contact your local public power utility immediately.

Don’t count on rubber tires to insulate you because tires aren’t pure rubber. They contain steel and carbon black. Both will conduct electricity.

Don't touch or move anyone who is in contact with electricity. You could be shocked. When calling 911 or your local emergency number, be sure to report an electric-contact accident.


If you see a downed power line, leave the area and immediately call 911 to report it to the local power company.

If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with a power pole or power line, stay inside until emergency workers arrive.

If you must get out of your vehicle due to fire or another emergency, jump clear without touching the car and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together, then shuffle away with your feet close together.

Keep pets, children and others away from the area.


Never touch a downed power line or any object touching a downed power line.

Do not trim trees around power lines.

Never try to remove tree limbs from downed power lines.


Look for a label from a recognized safety testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. when purchasing electric appliances or tools.

Read safety instructions before operating a new electric appliance.

Keep all equipment clean and in good repair.

Unplug appliances before cleaning, removing parts or when they are not in use.

Keep children away from portable space heaters.

Tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses indicate overloaded circuits. Have an electrician check wiring and/or add additional circuits.

A blown fuse will have a broken metal strip on its top. Replace the fuse with a new one marked with the correct amperage. If you have a circuit breaker instead of fuses, reset them from “off” to “on.”

If an appliance falls into water, unplug the appliance before retrieving it.

Place radios or televisions so they cannot be touched while using water.

Avoid using hair dryers and curling irons near water.

Practice the habit (and teach your children) to turn off lights and appliances when you leave the room or your home.


Never leave irons or other heating appliances plugged in when not in use.

Never insert metal objects into toasters or electric space heaters.

Do not destroy or bypass safety switches or guards found on power tools.

Never touch an electric appliance when you are in the tub or shower.

Never submerge electric appliances in water unless the instructions say you can.

Never put extension cords under rugs. Keep them away from moisture, heat, or metal pipes.


Make sure the electrical circuit breakers or fuses are clearly marked for each area of your home.

If high water is approaching and the floor is dry, turn off the electricity at the main circuit breaker or fuse box.

Unplug appliances—but again, only if you don’t have to stand in water. If possible you should move larger appliances such as washing machines to a higher floor, or place them on concrete blocks.

If you see downed power lines, call your local power provider. Be careful around downed tree limbs. They can conduct electricity from wet or broken power lines.

Before entering a flooded building or basement, make certain the electricity is off. If it hasn’t been turned off, or if you’re not sure, call your local public power provider. Don’t go in!


Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system. If you use a generator, only connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Consult a licensed electrician.

Don’t go into any room or basement if water is covering appliance cords that are plugged in or if water has reached the wall outlets.

Don’t enter a room if you hear popping or buzzing, or if you see sparks.