May is nationally recognized as National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Southern, SAFETY is our top priority for our customers and employees. This month we will share with you a variety of safety tips that you should consider for your yourself and your family, at home, at play or at work.
ON THE FARM
• Keep cultivators, sprayers and planters AT LEAST 10 FEET from power lines and electrical facilities.
• Use a spotter when maneuvering large equipment.
• Inspect entrances into fields to ensure adequate clearance for equipment.
• Use a spotter from a good vantage point to verify that entry points offer sufficient clearance.
• Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
• If you’re equipment contacts a power line, remain inside the vehicle until linemen from SPD arrive to de-energize the line. Stepping out of the equipment creates a path from the equipment to the ground, and electricity will use YOU as a path.
• Remember to keep a minimum of 10 feet between ladders and power lines.
• Use lighting and power tools that have an independent test laboratory label. Make sure they’re made for outdoor use.
• In damp locations, inspect all electrical cords and equipment. Assure they are in good condition and free of defects. Use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) if possible.
• Use covers on outdoor power outlets, especially near swimming pools. Keep cords and electrical devices away from the water, and never handle electrical items before you’ve dried off.
AROUND THE HOUSE
• Before installing a window A/C unit, make sure the electrical circuit and outlet are able to handle the load. Large units should have their own circuit to avoid overload.
• Make a map showing which fuse or circuit breaker controls each switch, light or outlet in your home.
• Recurring tripped circuit breakers or multiple blown fuses? Call a licensed electrician immediately.
• DIY project for the home? Always turn off the power to the circuit that you plan to work on by switching off the circuit breaker in the main service panel.
• Do not overuse power strips in your home. Call a qualified electrician to install additional outlets, if needed.
• Never place extension cords in high traffic areas, under carpets or across walkways, where they pose a potential tripping hazard.
• Frayed or damaged extension cords are dangerous and should never be used. Damage to the cord can expose wires and cause fire andshock hazards.
• Bulb wattage matters! Light bulbs with wattages that are too high for the fixture can overheat it, causing a fire hazard.
• Lamps are great accents for our homes. Place them on level surfaces, and away from flammable items.
• Flickering or dimming lights? Contact an electrician to check your home’s wiring.
FIRE SAFETY & PREVENTION
• Smoke detectors should be tested monthly to ensure they are properly working.
• Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home. • Never throw water on an electrical fire! Use your chemical fire extinguisher instead.• When cooking, remember to set a timer to remind yourself to check on food that is simmering or in the oven. Always double check to make sure burners and appliances are turned off when you’re done.
• If you have small children at home, install tamper resistant receptacles.
• Teach your kids to always ask an adult for help when plugging or removing cords from an outlet.