GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
Avoid Power Lines
Overhead wires enter houses and buildings at places called service drops. Service drops are not insulated but covered with a weatherproofing material that may become brittle and fall off. It is important not to touch wires at service drops or any outside power line, for that matter.
Consider any electrical line dangerous. Keep all objects (such as kites, ladders, and antennas) away from power lines.
Do not attempt to raise or move electric lines; they are not insulated!
Dial 811 to call Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) at least two business days before digging so they can mark underground lines that may be near the area where you plan to dig. It's the law.
If your vehicle hits a utility pole, stay in your car until help arrives.
Kites and Balloons
Since overhead power lines are not insulated, a kite or balloon string can conduct electricity to the ground. If a kite gets stuck in a tree that is near power lines, do not climb up to get it. Fly kites and model airplanes in large open areas like a park or a field.
Trees Near Power Lines
Tree limbs that grow up near power lines can be unsafe. If you climb such a tree, you could get hurt from electrical shock. Never trim trees near power lines – if you see a tree growing too near power lines, contact Tri-County to report it.
Downed Power Lines
Storms or accidents can sometimes cause power lines to fall to the ground. Assume any wire lying on the ground is carrying electricity and stay away from it. If you spot a downed wire, immediately call your local police and Tri-County Electric Cooperative. Keep others from getting near the downed wire until help arrives.
Never touch a person or object that is in contact with a power line; go get help immediately.
In Your Home
Pull the entrance switch or fuse before working on wiring or any equipment connected to the wiring. If in doubt, call a competent electrician.
If a fuse blows or breaker trips, find out the cause before restoring current to that circuit. Look for damaged wires, bare wires, defective outlets, and defective appliances.
Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas where appliances may accidentally come into contact with water, such as in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, and outside.
If you have small children at home, cover outlets with plastic outlet caps.
Hot Tubs and Pools
Water and electricity never mix! Keep electronics like radios away from pools and hot tubs, and watch for overhead power lines when cleaning pools, sailing, or fishing. Never install pools underneath or near power lines. Never touch an electrical appliance if you are wet; always dry off completely.
Be careful when using electrical appliances outdoors. Whether it's a bug zapper, an electric charcoal lighter, or a radio or CD player, use outlets that have weatherproof covers and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) to prevent serious shock injuries. Use portable GFCIs for outdoor outlets that don’t have them.
Don't use extension cords that are damaged or frayed.
Always unplug Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving the house.