At People’s Electric Cooperative (PEC), nothing is more important to us than your safety and well-being. Please read through the following precautions and follow them to help keep you, your family, and your home safe.
Know the Basics
- People are good conductors of electricity, particularly standing in water or on a damp floor. Your body can act like a lightning rod and carry the current to the ground.
- Use outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in bathrooms, garages, near kitchen sinks, and outdoors. These devices prevent serious shock. They can be added as temporary adapters if necessary.
- Keep appliances away from bathtubs, puddles, sinks, and wet hands.
- Always unplug an appliance before cleaning. Even if turned off, it can shock.
- Never overload an outlet with multiple appliances.
- Use only appliances approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory.
Remember These Tactics for Toddler Safety
Toddlers have a reputation for “getting into everything”, so you need to plan ahead to keep them from getting shocked. Electrical safety rules are simple but important for children.
- Cover electrical outlets with snug-fitting plastic safety plugs. Spring-loaded outlet covers are also available. They must be turned before a plug can be inserted.
- Get protective safety covers that allow appliance plugs to pass in and out for frequently used outlets.
- When possible, place furniture in front of outlets to prevent your child from touching them.
- Keep small metal objects, such as paper clips, hairpins, and safety pins off the floor. Children like to poke things into outlets.
- Tape electrical cords and wires to floors/baseboards to prevent fraying or breaking. Don’t put them under carpets.
- Roll up and tie loose appliance cords to keep them off the floor.
- Keep fans and portable heaters out of the reach of little fingers.
- Connect power tools to a master switch so you can turn off all tools when you leave the workshop.
- Most importantly, supervise your children. That’s the best safety measure of all!
Home Safety Quick Tips
- Electricity and water don’t mix. Never use electrical appliances close to water.
- Take an electrical tour throughout your home, searching for potential hazards. Many hazards are easily identified and corrected.
- Never put anything into electrical outlets not intended for them.
- Make sure electrical outlets aren’t overloaded.
- Check all electrical and extension cords to make sure they aren’t cracked, frayed, or covered by rugs or furniture.
- Use the appropriate wattage light bulb for lighting fixtures.
- Keep electrical appliances away from damp or hot surfaces, and make sure they have appropriate air circulation.
- Dim or flickering lights, arcs or sparks, sizzling or buzzing sounds from your electrical systems, odors, hot switch plates, loose plugs, and damaged insulation, among other things, are signs of potential hazards and should be examined by a qualified electrician.
Keep Clear of Power Lines
- When power lines are nearby, use wooden or fiberglass ladders – not metal.
- Carry ladders or long-handled tools low enough to avoid coming in contact with overhead lines.
- Keep in mind, the State Law of Oklahoma prohibits any equipment or tool from coming within six feet of an energized conductor even momentarily. This stresses the extreme hazards of performing jobs around energized power lines.
Check Out Your Equipment
- Keep all electrical appliances a safe distance away from water and don’t use power tools when standing in wet areas.
- Power tools should be properly grounded and use only heavy-duty extension cords rated for outdoor use.
Landscape with Care
- Call before you dig! PEC can tell you the location of any underground lines.
- Or, to locate electric, gas, and telephone lines with one phone call, Call OKIE. It’s a free service by calling (800) 522-6543.
- Don’t plant tall-growing trees under power lines. If you have a tree with power lines running above it, don’t climb it or build anything in it.
Work Safely with Heavy Equipment
Accidents involving heavy equipment coming into contact with power lines constitute a major portion of the electrically related fatalities each year in this country. By following a few simple procedures, you can work safely around electric wires.
- The first step in electric safety on a worksite is to survey the area carefully. Note where every electric wire is, and be sure your equipment will clear any wires by more than 10 feet.
- If you’re not sure if a particular wire is an electric wire, assume that it is.
- Maintain a distance of at least 10 feet between electric lines or equipment and your machinery. Mark off a “safe zone” and stay within it.
- If your work will require any excavation or drilling, contact People’s Electric before you begin work so they can clearly mark any underground lines. A PEC employee will be happy to come to your work site to help you provide a safe workplace for your employees.
Cutting Trees Safely
Do you have plans to clear some land for farming or for building a new house or barn? Maybe you’re cutting a new right-of-way to service as a road, or perhaps you’re just getting rid of some old dead trees. Regardless of the chore at hand, cutting down trees demands attention to safety measures.
- Careful surveillance of the vicinity is essential before you begin any tree work. Look overhead and to all sides surrounding your cutting site.
- Be very sure that your tree will not come into contact with any powerline when it falls. Wood can be a conductor of electricity. Each year several deaths and cases of serious injury are reported which involve trees falling into powerlines.
- Above all, if you do cause a tree to fall into a power line or you come across a tree that has fallen into a line, do not under any circumstances attempt to remove the tree. Stay clear of it and the line. Call PEC as soon as possible. We will see to it that the problem is taken care of right away.
Remind Your Kids About Electric Safety
- Kids love to climb trees. Teach them to watch out for trees or shrubs that have power lines passing near them. These lines are generally uninsulated and they can kill. Trees are excellent conductors of electricity, particularly when wet.
- Teach your children to keep toy airplanes and kites away from trees and power lines. Never try to retrieve a kite or plane by poking a stick into a power line.
- Never climb on transformers or up electric poles.
- Instruct your children to stay away from utility substation fences.
- If you see a substation fence or transformer cabinet that has been vandalized, call PEC immediately.
- Teach children to look for Danger signs displayed on all high voltage equipment.
- If a child (or an adult) sees a downed or damaged power line, he/she must not go near it! The child should tell an adult who will see that PEC is notified.
Sail with Safety
As a sailing enthusiast, become aware of the potential hazards and begin to exercise some simple measures to avoid danger in the future.
- Many sailboats have masts of 30 feet and more, and most of those masts are made of highly conductive aluminum. When aluminum masts and electric power come into contact, a lethal hazard is created.
- When you are stepping your mast, be sure to do so in an area totally clear of power lines. Most marinas provide safe, spacious areas for you to carry out your stepping procedures.