May Is Electrical Safety Month
͞ By Daniel Patton, SVEC Safety Coordinator
To me, safety is more than a catchphrase. As safety coordinator, it’s my responsibility to keep Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative employees safe. I also share information to keep you and all members of our community safe.
That’s why you’ll see SVEC hosting safety demonstrations at community events and in schools throughout the year to demonstrate the dangers of electricity. We discuss emergency scenarios such as what to do if you’re involved in a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines. We caution students on the dangers of pad-mounted transformers and overloading circuits with too many electronic devices. We also provide sponsorship for students from our service area to attend 4-H Electric Camp each summer to learn more about electric safety and the benefits of electricity.
Electricity is an integral part of modern life. Given the prevalence of electrical devices, tools and appliances, here are a few practical electrical safety tips:
- Frayed wires pose a serious safety hazard. Power cords can become damaged or frayed with age, heavy use, or excessive current flow through the wiring. If cords become frayed or cut, replace them because they could cause a shock when handled.
- Avoid overloading circuits. Circuits can only handle a limited amount of electricity. Overload happens when you draw more electricity than a circuit’s capacity — by having too many devices running on one circuit.
- Label circuit breakers to understand the circuits in your home. Contact a qualified electrician if your home is more than 40 years old and you need to install multiple large appliances that consume higher amounts of electricity.
- Use extension cords properly. Never plug an extension cord into another extension cord. If you “daisy chain” them together, it could lead to overheating, creating a potential fire hazard. And don’t exceed the wattage of the cord. Doing so also creates a risk of overloading the cord and creating a fire hazard. Extension cords should not be used as permanent solutions. If you need additional outlets, contact a licensed electrician to help.
I encourage you to talk with your kids about playing it safe and remaining smart around electricity. Help them be aware of overhead power lines near where they play outdoors.
While it is our mission to provide an uninterrupted energy supply 24/7, 365 days per year, our number one priority is keeping our employees and our community safe around electricity.
Contact SVEC for additional electrical safety tips or if you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school or upcoming community event.