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10 Safety Rules Homeowners Should Follow When It Comes to Electricity

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Sep 09, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

Electrical Safety, Safety TipsOwning a home may be the American dream, but it can also be a very expensive adventure. When something goes wrong or breaks, the responsibility of correcting the problem lies solely with you, rather than being paid for by a landlord. When it comes to electricity, there's more at stake than just a repair bill and a bit of inconvenience. The energy that powers all of the devices in your home and makes modern life so much simpler can also be a very real danger if you're not properly aware of how to handle it in a safe and effective manner. These ten tips are among those that homeowners should always keep in mind when dealing with electricity for the sake of safety and security.

  1. Don't be an Electrical Do-It-Yourselfer – Taking on a big project in your home can be a very rewarding and exciting experience, but it can also be a very dangerous prospect when the project in question is one that requires electrical work. Unless you're an experienced electrician, it's best to leave all related work to the professionals. Attempting to save a little bit of money can be very expensive when something as powerful as electricity is part of the equation.
  2. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters – Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, are an essential part of home electrical safety. When ground faults or leakage currents are detected, a GFCI will trip the circuit and shut off the power, preventing severe shocks and electrocution. In addition to installing GFCIs, you should also make a point of testing them each month to ensure that they work properly.
  3. Don't Ignore Faulty Outlets and Switches – When you own your home, it can often seem as if there is an endless parade of things that need to be fixed or upgraded. While some projects can be put off for a rainy day or until there's more money in the bank, problems with electrical outlets or switches aren't among them. Inoperable outlets can be an indicator of wiring faults, which can present a fire hazard.
  4. Pay Attention if Outlets Feel Warm to the Touch – If you place your hand on a switch or outlet and it feels warmer than usual, it can be an indicator of a fire-hazard wiring condition and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent house fires or other dangerous and destructive events.
  5. Keep an Eye Out for Discoloration – Outlet covers or switchplates that are discolored in a manner that suggests exposure to heat are no laughing matter, nor are they something that should be put off until later. They're a strong indication that there are problems with the wiring in your home, and could be the warning signs of an impending electrical fire.
  6. Childproof all Outlets – If there are curious little explorers in your home, one rule that you should always abide by is the vigilant use of childproof outlet covers. Kids are fascinated by the outlets that are frequently placed right at eye level for a crawling little one, and can be seriously injured if their tampering leads them to place an object inside the outlet slots.
  7. Address Outlets or Switches that Make Unusual Noises – If an outlet or switch in your home makes any sort of unusual sound, including buzzing or sizzling noises, it's important that you consult a professional promptly.
  8. Replace Frayed or Damaged Cords Immediately – Normal wear and tear or the attention of pets' teeth and claws can fray or damage an electrical cord, which can present a shock or fire hazard if the bare inner wires come into contact with some surfaces, including carpets and skin.
  9. Don't Pinch the Wires! – If you have to bend a cord, be sure that you do so loosely and never crimp or pinch them. These actions can break or tear the plastic housing around the live wires, leaving them exposed in dangerous and potentially destructive ways. You should also never attach wires and cables to surfaces with staples or nails that could cut through the plastic coating, either.
  10. Install and Maintain Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters – Arc fault circuit interrupters provide greater protection than normal circuit breakers from electrical fires, and should be installed to protect your home. Just like GFCIs, you should make a point of testing them once a month to ensure proper functionality.

Tags: electrical safety, general safety tips, electrical safety tips, fire safety

Electrical Safety: 10 Tips for Overhead Power Lines

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

With May (Electrical Safety Month) coming to a close, Safety Training Services, Inc. would like to offer 10 tips to remember for those who work near overhead power lines (when working outside):

1. Survey your surroundings. Always be aware of the location of power lines, particularly when using long tools (e.g. ladders). Don’t assume…assess.

2. Obey the 10 foot rule. As in, do not work or use equipment within 10 feet of overhead lines. You may feel lucky and think “I won’t come in contact with the power line.” However, the electricity can arc to nearby objects and people and assuming you have enough time to think before being barbequed better than my dad’s grilled chicken, you’ll remember these words.

Fall safety, fall protection


3. Be careful when working on your roof. That includes cleaning gutters, installing antennas and satellite dishes or any repair work. Oh….and during winter, those holiday lights, be especially careful putting those 250 strands up, thank you Mr. Griswold.

4. Never climb trees near power lines. Limbs & branches can bend or break off and obviously, you can fall off. Didn’t you learn this as a child?

Electrical safety, power line safety

5. Never trim trees near power lines. Leave that to a professional.

6. Always follow safety procedures, no matter how boring and mundane they seem. Just remember, “Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.”

Electric fire, electrical safety

7. Assume all power lines are energized. Do not use metal ladders near them; instead use appropriate American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved ladders for work near energized power lines. With respect to electricity, one wrong move could be your last.




8. Train yourself/your workers. You/they should be versed in emergency communication and proper techniques for providing aid to someone after an electrical accident.

Buddy system, safety watch

9. Use Safety Watches or Spotters. Their only duties should be observing the work and communicating with the operator to ensure the equipment never gets closer than 10 feet to a power line. Were you in boy/girl scouts as a kid? Remember the “buddy system!”



Osha electrical safety, electricity safety

10. Don’t be a hero! Keep a safe distance from any victim who is/was in direct contact with electricity. Call 911 immediately! Do not try to touch victim because you may be electrocuted. 




The best way to avoid injury from power lines is to make the choice to stay committed to safety. All rules & regulations are useless unless they’re observed. Safe work habits should be consistent and ongoing.

Remember, as OSHA states it, “no building, equipment, deadline or profit is worth a human life.”

Safety Training Services, Inc. provides appropriate training for several safety topics, including but not limited to: OSHA General Industry, OSHA Construction Industry, NFPA 70E Arc Flash Training, HAZWOPER, Confined Space Entry and Rescue. Call or contact us for a free quote on safety training! Consulting Services, Rescue Services and Equipment sales & rentals also available. Or schedule a visit to come by (or us to you) and see what we can offer your company today!


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Tags: electrical safety tips, nfpa 70e training, osha electrical safety, electrical safety training, osha safety topics