Safe Mode

September 2023

Don’t forget electric safety at home

Suwannee Valley Electric employees work with electrical equipment on a daily basis, so their safety has always been a top priority for the cooperative. But keeping electrical safety front of mind is also important for every consumer member, even if you don’t spend time around high-voltage equipment.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are approximately 47,000 home electrical fires each year. Keep yourself and your family safe by following these easy safety practices at home to avoid fires and shocks that can cause serious injury or even death.



Major appliances like refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc., should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Extension cords and power strips should not be used.

Only plug one heat-producing appliance, such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc., into an outlet at a time.

Turn off appliances before unplugging them, and never unplug an appliance by tugging on its cord. Always pull at the plug instead.

Electricity flows easily through water. Keep hair dryers, curling irons, electric razors and other appliances away from water.

Only use lightbulbs that are at or below the maximum wattage listed on the fixture.


Never overload an electrical outlet with too many plugs. If yours are overloaded, consider having a qualified electrician install additional outlets. In fact, have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.

Protect your little ones. Teach them to stay away from outlets, and cover unused outlets with childproof covers.

Only use power strips for low-voltage electronics. Overloading a power strip can create a fire hazard.

Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, cut power in time to prevent serious shock. Use these in bathrooms, in garages, near kitchen sinks and outdoors.


Do not run cords where they may become tripping hazards or under rugs where they may overheat.

Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis.

Never plug a space heater or fan into an extension cord or power strip.

Regularly examine power cords and connections for wear. Don’t use damaged cords.

Never remove an extension cord’s grounding pin to fit into a two-prong outlet.


For outdoor projects, use only extension cords marked for outdoor use.

Keep all power tools away from water, and keep your hands dry when using them.

When carrying and using ladders and other long tools, keep them at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines.

Contact Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) before trimming trees near overhead power lines. Don’t let kids climb trees near power lines.

Keep far away from fallen lines. They can be dangerous, even if they’re not sparking. Notify SVEC immediately.

Call 811 to get underground utilities marked at least 2 business days before digging to install a fence or mailbox, start a garden, or build a deck. If you hit an underground power line you could be fatally injured.

Important Reminder

Call a qualified electrician or your landlord if you have:

  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
  • Discolored or warm wall outlets
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
  • Sparks from an outlet