Safety Tips

Energy for Good

Safety Tips

 

 

  • Never purchase any electronic appliances or electrical devices regardless of its low price, if it does not bear the ULTM, CETM, FCCTM or any other recognized standards authorities logo who have tested and verified that the product is safe for its intended use.
  • Never overload electrical circuits or plugs above its rated wattage because of the risk of overheating and starting a fire.
  • If you have purchased a three prong electrical device, never ever remove the middle grounding prong to make it fit into a two prong outlet. This is dangerous and can damage the equipment as well as cause an electrocution.
  • Never place electrical devices too close to kitchen sinks or bathtubs where there is a possibility of them falling into water causing an electrical shortage or electrocution.
  • If your electrical device or plugs are rated for indoors use only, never use it outside particularly on rainy days or wet surfaces.
  • If your electrical appliances or devices have a frayed (exposed wires) power cord, replace it immediately or wrap it properly with electrical tape if it is a minor breakage in the cord, to prevent
    accidental shorting or shocks.
  • Never leave lamps or any other heat producing electrical devices on when leaving it unattended for extended periods of time due to the likelihood of it overheating and starting an electrical fire.
  • If there is an apparent fluctuation in your electricity coming into the home or building, do not attempt to use your electrical equipment, but rather un plug them or turn off the main circuit breaker until the power has been restored to normal to prevent injury or damage to property.
  • Do not use metal ladders or climb trees that are too close to overhead electrical wires to prevent electrocution to persons.

 

If there are downed power lines in the street after a storm or accident, do not attempt to remove it out of the way, but call the power company who can handle the situation professionally

 

 

Safety at Home

 

 

Follow these tips to be safe around electricity at home:

 

  • If your power goes out frequently or the lights in your home flicker, produce an odor or make noise, have an electrician come to inspect your wiring.
  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a tool that protects you from a dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “faceplates.”
  • All electrical cords should be in good condition.
  • Don't tie or knot cords. Don't let furniture sit on cords.
  • Use the right light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures. Look inside the light fixture. Find a label that tells you which light bulb size (wattage) is right for the fixture.
  • Look for a mark on the label such as ETL or UL when you buy electrical appliances (such as toasters, microwaves or coffee makers) and cords. This will tell you the product has been tested for safety.
  • Unplug toaster ovens, coffee makers and other small appliances after using them.
  • Keep appliances dry and away from water at all times.
  • Don't plug in too many appliances at once.
  • Unplug unused appliances and stow cords safely out of reach of pets, young children or hazardous situations.
  • Appliances that generate heat, such as clocks, televisions and computer monitors, should be given several inches of clearance all around for good air circulation and cooling. Do not drape clothes, toys or other items over warm appliances. 
  • Always follow appliance instructions carefully, and do not attempt amateur repairs or upgrades.
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from water such as sinks, bathtubs, pools or overhead vents that may drip.
  • Do not operate any electrical appliance with wet hands or while standing in water. 
  • Keep clothes, curtains, toys and other potentially combustible materials at least three feet away from radiators, space heaters, heating vents and other heat sources.
  • Keep trees pruned and away from power lines overhead as well as where the power lines approach the house. 
  • Do not fly kites, model aircraft or balloons near power lines. 
  • When using a ladder, carefully inspect the surrounding area to be sure it is free from power lines. 
  • Do not swim or play in water during an electrical storm, even if it is not raining. 
  • Do not approach a downed power line to see if it is live - it may give no signs that can be easily observed, but it is just as deadly. Contact GBPC immediately about downed lines. 
  • Fires are frequently caused by improper installation of electrical devices by untrained electricians.
  • It is essential to remember that water and electricity do not mix. This is extremely dangerous and must be avoided at all times.
  • When you use electrical devices safely, you can prevent electrical problems
  • Always use the proper size fuse. Never place a penny behind a fuse when you do not have a spare fuse.
  • Clothing or towels should never be placed on a lampshade. This is a fire hazard.
  • Ensure that proper wattage is used on all light fixtures. Most light fixtures are labeled to indicate the brightest bulb that can be safely used.
  • Use only extension cords that are rated for the power used by the device they are powering.
  • Ensure that only authorized and licensed electricians conduct electrical installations.
  • All electrical appliances used outdoors should be designed for that purpose.

 

Safety at Work

 

 

Follow these steps to work safely around electricity:

 

  • Inspect tools, power cords, and electrical fittings for damage or wear prior to each use. Repair or replace damaged equipment immediately.
  • Always tape cords to walls or floors when necessary. Nails and staples can damage cords causing fire and shock hazards.
  • Use cords or equipment that is rated for the level of amperage or wattage that you are using.
  • Always use the correct size fuse. Replacing a fuse with one of a larger size can cause excessive currents in the wiring and possibly start a fire.
  • Be aware that unusually warm or hot outlets may be a sign that unsafe wiring conditions exists. Unplug any cords to these outlets and do not use until a qualified electrician has checked the wiring.
  • Always use ladders made of wood or other non-conductive materials when working with or near electricity or power lines. 
  • Make sure that exposed receptacle boxes are made of non-conductive materials. 
  • Know where the breakers and boxes are located in case of an emergency.
  • Label all circuit breakers and fuse boxes clearly. Each switch should be positively identified as to which outlet or appliance it is for. 
  • Do not use outlets or cords that have exposed wiring.
  • Do not use power tools with the guards removed.
  • Do not block access to circuit breakers or fuse boxes. 
  • Do not touch a person or electrical apparatus in the event of an electrical accident. Always disconnect the current first.
  • Switch tools OFF before connecting them to a power supply.
  • Disconnect power supply before making adjustments.
  • Do not bypass the switch and operate the tools by connecting and disconnecting the power cord.
  • Do not clean tools with flammable or toxic solvents. 
  • Do not operate tools in an area containing explosive vapors or gases, unless they are intrinsically safe and only if you follow the manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Keep power cords clear of tools during use.
  • Suspend power cords over aisles or work areas to eliminate stumbling or tripping hazards. 
  • Replace open front plugs with dead front plugs. Dead front plugs are sealed and present less danger of shock or short circuit.
  • Do not use light duty power cords. 
  • Do not carry electrical tools by the power cord. 
  • Do not tie power cords in tight knots. Knots can cause short circuits and shocks. Loop the cords or use a twist lock plug.

 

Power Line Safety

 

 

Operating near or under power lines poses unique hazards, and the following precautions should be followed to reduce potential equipment damage or injury:

 

  • Don’t operate heavy equipment under power lines.
  • Don’t drive with long antennas under power lines.
  • Don’t park under power lines. The magnetic field around energized power lines can induce an electrical charge in ungrounded vehicles or equipment. This charge can shock anyone who touches the vehicle.
  • Deactivated transmission and distribution lines may continue to pose a hazard due to induction.
  • If power lines fall on your vehicle, DON’T leave the vehicle until the power company arrives. If the vehicle is on fire or fire is near, jump clear, don’t hang on, keep feet together, and bunny hop away. (more on this below)

 

Vehicle Safety

 
 

Stay put, stay safe

Being in a vehicle that encounters a downed power line is extremely dangerous. If this happens to you, you should:

 

  • Stay in your vehicle and call 919 for help. You are safe from electrocution as long as you are in your vehicle.
  • Keep co-workers and the public away from your vehicle.

 

Staying in your vehicle is always the first choice. If you absolutely must exit because of other circumstances such as fire, jump clear with both feet together. Do not touch any other part of the vehicle. Then shuffle with both feet away from the scene until you are at least 20 meters, or 65 feet away

 

Generator Safety (good for Hurricane Season too)

 

 

Portable generators are internal combustion engines used to generate electricity and are regularly utilized during disaster response. Portable generators can be dangerous if used incorrectly, even leading to carbon monoxide, even leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. Shocks and electrocution may result from improper use of power or accidentally energizing other electrical systems.

 

Carbon monoxide from the generator’s exhaust presents a potential hazard. Fires can occur from improperly refueling the generator or inappropriately storing fuel.

 

  • Inspect portable generators for damage or loose fuel lines that may have occurred during transportation and/or handling.
  • Always keep the generator dry.
  • Maintain and operate portable generators in accordance with the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
  • Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system of a structure unless the generator has a properly installed transfer switch. Doing this presents a risk of electrocution for utility workers.
  • Always plug electrical appliances directly into the generator using the manufacturers supplied cords.
  • Use undamaged heavy duty extension cords that are grounded (3-pronged).
  • Before refueling, shut down the generator.
  • Never store fuel indoors.
  • Never use a generator indoors.
  • Never place a generator outdoors near doors, windows, or vents.