Electricity provides the energy to turn on the lights, power a television and keep food cold in the refrigerator. But, if not used properly, electricity can be very dangerous.
Electricity travels, or is conducted, through wires to electrical outlets in your home. Wrapped around the wires is rubber, plastic or other insulating materials which protect or insulate us from the electricity.
But, if this protection is broken and electricity touches you, you could be zapped by an electrical shock or be burned.
Around the house there are many ways in which electricity can hurt you if it is not used the right way. You should never put anything into an outlet except an electrical plug, and if a power cord is broken and you can see the wires inside, the cord should not be used. Also, if your hands are wet or you are standing in water you should never plug in or touch anything that uses electricity. Water is good conductor of electricity.
There are dangers outside, too. If you come across a power line that has fallen to the ground, call for help and stay far away from it. Remember, too, that you should never climb electric poles or towers. And did you know that if you climbed a tree that is touching a power line or raise a stick or pole to touch an electrical line, you could get zapped?
Your local electric cooperative provides a powerful tool you use every day: electricity. Use it safely.
Electricity, when used properly, is a safe and convenient form of energy, but when used improperly, electricity can cause fires, shocks, injuries, and even death. The following safety tips will help you avoid electrical accidents.
- Be careful with electrical cords; don’t place cords where people will trip over them or where they will receive excessive wear; keep cords away from heat and water; don’t pull on cords to disconnect them, pull on the plug; and don’t twist, kink or crush cords.
- Never use an appliance while standing in water or when wet.
- Don’t touch metal plumbing or metal objects and appliances at the same time.
- Keep combustible materials away from lamps or heating devices.
- Disconnect appliances before cleaning.
- Keep ladders away from electric power lines.
- Turn off circuits when changing lightbulbs.
- In case of an electrical fire, call the fire department, unplug the appliance if it is safe to do so, and use a class “C” rated fire extinguisher or baking soda. Never use water.
- Never touch broken electric lines. Call the police and the electric company immediately.
- In case of electric shock, do not touch the victim until the electricity is turned off. If the victim is in contact with the electric power lines, the only safe procedure is to call the power company. If the victim is in contact with a low voltage cord, use a dry rope or stick to remove the victim. Call the hospital and, if necessary, give artificial respiration or, for shock, cover victim and raise the victim’s feet.
- Never attempt to remove a kite from electric power lines, and be aware of the location of electric power lines when flying kites.
- When climbing trees, be sure that electric power lines don’t touch the tree; if they do, don’t climb the tree.