Do-It-Yourself Safety Tips

Know the locations of your electrical wires within the walls of your home. If you aren’t aware of their locations, you could accidentally drill or nail into them, causing electric shock to yourself or even starting an electrical fire! 

When installing new appliances, always read the directions!

The installation instructions will give you important information about the electrical load (amps) that the appliance will pull. If the instructions are unclear or you do not feel comfortable installing them yourself, please get a licensed professional to do so for you. 

Always turn off the power at the circuit breaker.

Stopping the electrical current from running into the area you are working in can prevent injuries or even worse, death. 

When you’re working with electricity, the tools you use are important! 

Tools with insulated grips will offer you the best protection when working with or near electricity. 

If you are using a wet-dry vacuum or pressure washer (or any other appliance that uses electricity and water), follow manufacturer instructions! 

Products are tested for safety precautions and best practices to keep the user safe. Not following the manufacturer recommendations can be dangerous. 

When using power tools, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCIs). 

This will offer additional protection against electrical shock. 

When DIYing tile with a wet-saw, ensure that the cords do not have any damage. 

If you accidentally splash water onto exposed wires or touch them with wet hands, you are risking an electrical shock. 

Before digging, be sure to call 811. 

Calling 811 is a free service that helps you to find out where utility lines are running underground. These include not only electrical lines but phone, water, and gas lines as well. This will not only protect you from personal injury, but also protect your liability in the case you accidentally hit an underground wire. 

Extension Cord Safety Tips

Avoid powering multiple appliances with one cord. 

Extension cords are designed to handle a maximum electrical load (amps) and over-usage can cause unnecessary risk.

Do not plug one extension cord into another!

Purchase an extension cord that is the appropriate length you need to minimize risk of fire. 

Make sure that extension cords are rated for what you will be using them for. 

Do not use indoor extension cords outdoors. Some extension cords are oil-resistant–if you are working in an oily environment, make sure your extension cord is rated for that use.  

Do not cover up extension cords. 

This includes putting them under rugs or furniture or using them in place of traditional electrical wiring (within walls). If a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.

Don’t over-manipulate cords while in use. 

Don’t bend, twist or curl cords over their normal flexibility.

Extension cords are meant to be temporary solutions.

Don’t tape or staple them to walls, floors or other surfaces. 

Check cords for damage. 

Ensure that cords do not have damage to them from animal bites, bending, storage or other things. If you see any damage, do not use the cord. 

If an extension cord is hot to the touch, immediately stop using it. 

Unplug the cord immediately to prevent fire hazards.

Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips

Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips: 

Don’t fly kites, drones or motorized airplanes near power lines. 

Kites usually use cotton string, but damp cotton string can conduct electricity almost as well as a metal string/wire. 

When using a ladder, avoid power lines. 

Keep your ladder far enough away from power lines that if the ladder were to fall, it will not put you into the power lines. 

Do not intentionally damage insulators on utility poles. 

Insulators prevent electricity from traveling down the poles, so if one is damaged, anyone coming in contact with the pole could be injured or killed. 

Ensure that outdoor electrical items are properly rated.  

Outlets, lighting fixtures and bulbs should be weatherproof and protected by GFCI breakers (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). 

When digging underground, always call 811 first.

Trained personnel will locate and mark the underground facilities for you. This will prevent you from making a potentially fatal mistake when digging. 

Use proper safety equipment when using outdoor power tools. 

When using outdoor electrical tools such as hedge trimmers or edgers, never go barefoot. Wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes. 

Hire professionals for limb-cutting that is close to power lines.

Limbs falling into power lines can cause power outages and pose a danger to you and others. Leave that to the professionals.  

When planting trees, research the species to ensure it has enough room to grow. 

If a tree is too close to your power lines, please report it to Excelsior EMC. Right of Way tree trimming will work to prevent this issue. 

Do not operate equipment too close to powerlines. 

Maintain a 10 foot radius from power lines when using tractors, excavators and other equipment.  

Do not cause damage to the yellow protective shields over guy wires. 

These wires are not energized but if they are not properly grounded, they can actually conduct electricity. If the yellow shield isn’t in place, it can make it harder to see and pose a risk to pedestrians, bike riders and others.