May is National Electrical Safety Month
10 Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes Made with Electricity
From the 7,200 volts of electricity in some of the overhead power lines above us, to the 120 volts in the outlets in many homes, electricity is an integral, yet easily overlooked, part of our everyday lives. May is National Electrical Safety Month, which is an opportune time to brush up on tips for using electricity safely.
“Electricity powers our modern lifestyle, but it must be respected or the consequences can be tragic, says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program. The vast majority of electrical accidents and fires are preventable if people understand and take steps to be safe.”
In honor of National Electrical Safety Month, Ozark Electric Cooperative and Safe Electricity offer these 10 tips on how to safely avoid common mistakes made with electricity:
- Just because a power line is down does not mean it is dead. Whether caused by a storm or a car accident, a fallen power line is very dangerous. Stay far away, instruct others to stay away, and call your electric utility immediately.
- Never plug a generator into a wall outlet. After a power outage, many use generators as a quick solution to get the lights back on, but plugging a generator into an outlet creates dangerous backfeed. Backfeed sends electricity back through the power lines and can injure or kill the linemen trying to turn the power back on.
- Don’t step into a flooded basement if there is a chance that flood waters may be in contact with outlets or electrical cords. The waters of a flooded basement may be energized with electricity.
- Water and electrical equipment don’t mix. Replace any appliance damaged by water because it is unsafe to use, and never use electrical equipment in wet conditions – if it is raining or the ground is wet.
- All outlets near areas with water should have GFCI protection. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) monitor the flow of electricity in a circuit. If there is an irregularity of electrical flow, the power is cut off, preventing an electric shock.
- Extension cords should never be used permanently. Extension cords are created for temporary use only. When using them for a permanent solution, they can overheat and cause fires.
- Never remove a plug’s grounding pin. The third prong on a plug is a safety feature. If the plug doesn’t fit, the outlet needs replaced.
- Take care of electrical cords. Never tack or nail an electrical cord to any surface or run cords across traffic paths or under rugs where they can be trampled, and check cords occasionally for damage. Replace when necessary.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Plugging in too many appliances to an outlet can strain your electrical system.
- Always call 811 before any digging project. You don’t know the precise location of utilities that are buried beneath the ground, so always have your utilities marked so you know where it is safe to dig.
Be a part of a safer, smarter world. Get more electrical safety tips at www.ozarkelectric.com or SafeElectricity.org.
Introducing a New Service for Old Friends!
Home Energy Audits Now Available to Ozark Electric Members
Beginning May 1, Ozark Electric Cooperative members can start taking advantage of our new Take Control & Save Home Energy Audit program. This program, which is offered year-round, is designed to increase the purchase and installation of high-efficiency products in members’ homes. The home energy audits and weatherization measure is a multi-faceted program designed to improve the energy efficiency of the member’s home. The program is being implemented by OEC with the goal of increasing member awareness of saving energy.
The home energy audit will be conducted by certified auditors and will cost the member $75 (a $300 value) and will be provided regardless of the type of heat found in the home. Once the audit is completed, an incentive of 50% of the cost, with a cap maximum of $500, will be paid to the member for corrective actions taken.
- Must be a member of Ozark Electric Cooperative.
- Audits are available for new or existing homes.
- Rebate program is limited to cooperative services that use 6000 or more kilowatt-hours on an annual basis. Eligible services also include lake homes, workshops, and barns, etc.
For more information call any of our office #s and ask for the Member Services Department.