At PPEC, we recognize Electrical Safety Month every May, but we also know the importance of practicing safety year-round.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured or electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. Electricity is a necessity, and it powers our daily lives.
To the co-op, “safety is my business” is more than a catchphrase. That’s why you’ll see us hosting safety demonstrations at community events, emergency responder trainings, and in schools throughout the year, to teach people of all ages how to be safe around electricity.
We discuss emergency scenarios, such as what to do in a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines. We caution students on the dangers of pad-mounted transformers and overloading circuits with too many electronic devices.
Frayed wires pose a serious safety hazard. Power cords can become damaged or frayed from age, heavy use, or excessive current flow through the wiring. If cords become frayed or cut, replace them, as they could cause a shock when handled.
Avoid overloading circuits. Circuits can only cope with a limited amount of electricity. Overload happens when you draw more electricity than a circuit can safely handle — by having too many devices running on one circuit.
Use extension cords properly. Never plug an extension cord into another extension cord. If you “daisy chain” them together, it could lead to overheating, creating a potential fire hazard. Don’t exceed the wattage of the cord. Doing so also creates a risk of overloading the cord and creating a fire hazard. Extension cords should not be used as permanent solutions. If you need additional outlets, contact a licensed electrician to help.
PPEC encourages you to talk with your kids about playing it safe and smart around electricity. Help them be aware of overhead power lines near where they play outdoors.
Contact PPEC for additional electrical safety tips or if you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school, EMT or police group, chamber, or community event. The demonstration dramatically emphasizes the dangers posed by high-voltage electric lines, both underground and overhead. Some specific things you’ll learn about include:
- Safety equipment used by PPEC lineworkers
- Various electrical voltages and circuits
- Telephone and cable TV wires and the potential of being energized
- Effects of current on a human body
- Effect of contacting energized electric circuits
Safety and Compliance Manager Duanne Renollet conducts safety demos throughout the year that can be tailored for all ages. Large high-voltage units are available or smaller tabletop units. Call 800-686-2357 to schedule an event, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.