Home Electrical Safety

Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of hundreds of Americans each year and injure thousands more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures and appliance defects, but many more are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords.

  • Frayed cords are dangerous. Cord insulation keeps electricity in the wires, where it belongs. Regularly check appliance power cords and connections for wear, and don’t use damaged cords.
  • Practice extension cord safety. Extension cords are only for temporary use. Never put them under rugs or furniture, as they can overheat or become damaged.
  • Don’t mix water and electricity. Electricity flows easily through water. Keep hair dryers, curling irons, electric razors, electric toothbrushes, and other appliances away from water.
  • Keep your family safe. Keep flammable items far from light bulbs, heaters, or toasters. Install smoke detectors, keep extinguishers on hand, and have a fire escape plan.
  • GFCIs can save your life. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) cut power in time to previous serious shock. Use in bathrooms, garages, near kitchen sinks, and outdoors.
  • Keep the holidays happy. Always turn off holiday lights before you leave home. Keep trees, boxes, and wrapping paper away from heat sources.
  • Don’t overload outlets. An overloaded outlet is a fire hazard. If yours are overloaded with too many plugs, consider having a qualified electrician install additional outlets.
  • Stay out of substations. If a ball or toy goes into a substation, children should tell an adult to call the power company. Never try to retrieve toys yourself.
  • Keep far away from fallen lines! The line can be dangerous, even if it’s not sparking. Notify Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) and 911 immediately.
  • Stay clear of high-voltage lines. Never touch or climb on these towers. Overhead wires and other tower equipment carry very high voltage electricity that is dangerous to contact.
  • Don’t dig near or pry open transformers. Transformers are locked inside sturdy metal cabinets for safety. If you find one unlocked, keep away and call SVEC immediately.
  • Wait in your vehicle for rescuers if it contacts a power line. If you must leave due to hazards, jump clear of hidden lines. Don’t touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with feet together and shuffle away.
  • Call before you dig. If you hit an underground power line you could be fatally injured. Before digging or moving earth in any way, call your one-call utility locator service.
  • Work and play safely around trees. Contact SVEC before trimming trees near overhead power lines. Don’t let kids climb trees near power lines.
  • Keep your distance! When carrying and using ladders and other long tools, keep them at least 10 feet away from all overhead lines.

We all know kids have a natural curiosity that can deliver them into the hands of danger. To keep your kids safe, please provide them with the following tips:

  • Do not play around power facilities. Avoid flying kites and playing with other high-reaching items near power lines.
  • Never put objects into electrical outlets.
  • Do not climb trees that are in the vicinity of power lines
  • Avoid using electrical items near water or in the rain. Water and electricity do not mix.
  • If a power line is a broken stay as far away as possible to reduce the risk of electrical shock.
  • Be careful about plugging in too many items into a single outlet.
  • If your pet climbs onto a power pole or other utility facility call the power company for assistance.