Water and Electricity Don’t Mix!

With summer getting into full swing, the rising thermometer can only mean one thing, How to stay cool!

Preventing electrical emergencies is often as easy as making sure your outlets, power cords and appliances stay far away from water. If you are unsure about the outlets in your home or have further questions about electrical conductivity, contact Southeastern Indiana REMC.

Here some tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International to make sure everyone has a safe summer.

Boating and Marina Safety – Inspect your boat inspected regularly by a licensed electrician and familiarize yourself with the electrical system so you can identify and correct any potential hazards.

If you enjoy sailing, make sure you keep your sailboat’s mast away from any overhead power lines. Look up as you get close to shore, and stay at least 10 feet away from overhead lines. Coming into contact with an energized power line causes serious and sometimes lethal electric shock.

Air Conditioners or Fans – Hot weather brings increased use of air conditioners and fans. If your air conditioner or large whole house fan goes out, remember to test before you touch. Make sure circuits are turned off before starting work and stay off while working on the appliance. Contact with electric current from air conditioners accounts for a significant number of electrocutions and electrical injuries each year.

Pool and Spa Safety – Use covers on outdoor power outlets, especially near swimming pools. Keep cords and electrical devices away from the water, and never handle electrical items while you are still wet.

Never use extension cords near pool equipment, water hoses or other sources of water.

Power Tools – According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are nearly 400 electrocutions in the United States each year. Never use power tools near water, inside or outside your home. Electrical power tools use high wattage and should never mix with wet conditions.

Outlets – Make sure your bathroom, kitchen and outdoor areas have the right electrical outlets. Newer homes usually meet the National Electrical Code, but older models may not. To be sure, ask your electrician to check your bathroom, kitchen and outdoor outlets to make sure they are GFCI (ground fault current interrupter) receptacles and are installed properly.

Lightening and Storms – Lightning strikes are fatal in 10 percent of victims and 70 percent suffer serious long-term effects, according to the National Weather Service. Because lightning can travel sideways for up to 10 miles, blue skies are not a sign of safety. If you hear thunder, take cover. Seek shelter in a low-lying area away from trees and any metal, including sheds, clotheslines, poles and fences. If you’re near water, stay as far away as possible. Other foul weather safety tips:

  • If you’re in a group, spread out—don’t stand close together.
  • Indoors, unplug electronics before the storm arrives, and don’t use corded phones.
  • Avoid plumbing—sinks, bathtubs, faucets.
  • Don’t forget about your pets. Doghouses are not safe from lightning, and chained animals are easy targets.
  • If your home is flooded during a storm, don’t turn on appliances or electronics until an electrician says it’s okay. If there’s laying water, don’t go inside. The water could be energized.

Find more safety tips at esfi.org.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International

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