Don't become a conductor
Electricity always seeks every available path to ground through conductors. Good conductors are:
- Wet wood
Your body is 70% water and is a dangerously good conductor of current. So, if you're grounded and touching an energized bare wire, electricity will pass through you to the ground.
Just a little current can be fatal
An amount of electricity as small as that found in a typical Christmas tree bulb can be fatal. Or, the shock can easily cause serious falls, burns, cuts or internal bleeding.
- Never touch an appliance or switch it on or off with wet hands.
- Never place electrical equipment where it could fall into a sink or water.
- Unplug small appliances and equipment when not in use.
- At home, keep electrical cords away from toddlers or pets.
- Check all cords periodically to be sure they are in good condition.
- Don't use extension cords as a substitute for fixed wiring.
- Cover electrical outlets you're not using with plug protectors.
- Teach children at an early age about electricity and the importance of practicing electric safety.
- Stay clear of substations and power lines.
- When using a hose or sprinkler, don't let water contact overhead wires.
- Keep radios, TVs or other electrical appliances away from your swimming pool or hot tub.
- Don't fly kites or climb trees near electric lines.
- Be sure your outdoor wiring is on a separate circuit of sufficient amperage for your heavy-duty equipment and power tools.
- Don't overload extension cords.
- Avoid contact with the electrical service entrance to your building when painting or doing other repairs.
Before you dig
If you are planning a project that requires digging, be sure to call Diggers Hotline at least three working days before you begin. Call toll free 1-800-242-85111-800-242-8511, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Participating municipalities and utilities can then mark the location of any underground lines on your property. Damaging a line is not only dangerous, it will also be expensive if you have not contacted Diggers Hotline ahead of time.
For more information
- Diggers Hotline
- Natural Gas and Electric Safety [935 kB PDF]
- Natural Gas Safety
- Gas Pipeline Safety
- Power Planting: How to Select and Plant Trees Near Power Lines [3.0 MB PDF]
- Energy Emergency Guide [778 kB PDF]
- Emergency Responder Training
- Electrical Safety Foundation International, Home Electrical Safety Tips
- National Fire Protection Association National Fire Protection Association, Electrical Safety Information