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Energy Safety

Fully capable of enhancing lives, electricity also has the power to claim lives if handled incorrectly or without the proper respect it deserves. Regardless of how it is delivered, electricity and its potential danger should never be underestimated.

Power lines carry a lot of energy and if not treated with respect can be fatal. In addition, electrical Distribution Transformers and transformers are fenced, and covered to keep you away from possible electrical shock hazards.

The public should be aware of potential shock hazards associated with electrical distribution equipment. Follow safety signs, keep away from electrical transmission and distribution power lines, look up when working near lines, and call before your dig.

The following are some important facts about electricity.
Basic facts about electricity you should know…..

Electricity seeks the easiest and shortest path to the ground. When people or objects come too close to, or touch an electrical wire, they can become a part of the electrical circuit which can result in an instant flow of electricity through them to ground.

The flow of electricity through the human body can kill. Less than one ampere of electricity can burn, severely injure or cause death. Electricity is fast, electricity travels at approximately 299,330 km per second. That leaves no room for mistakes. Never put yourself into electricity’s path.

"Conductors" conduct electricity quickly and in large amounts. All metals, waters, humans and even non-metallic materials (trees, ropes etc.) can conduct electricity depending on their moisture content and surface contamination. Caution needs to be applied.

When birds land on wire they don’t get electrocuted because they don’t represent a path to ground. Electricity wants nothing more than to go to ground and will always do so by the easiest most direct way. A bird on a wire and not touching another wire or the ground ,doesn’t provide a path of current,and electricity has nowhere to go but back to the wire hence ,the bird does not get electrified.

Many overhead power lines are insulated but only to a level to prevent problems from incidental tree contact. They are usually not fully insulated to prevent injury to people. So they are not safe to touch.

All ladders should be kept away from overhead power lines. No matter what the ladder is made of, if it’s wet or can get wet, it represents a potential hazard. Even if the ladder isn’t metal, it isn’t safe to rest on power lines. Depending on how far away your ladder and you are from the line, electricity can jump and often does when a potential conductor like a metal ladder comes within a certain proximity. Be safe, and keep well away from overhead power lines.

All electrical equipment installed by the utility company to help deliver electricity from the high voltage lines near your neighborhood , should be marked with warning labels as an electrical hazard to keep everybody away. The Warning labels shall be visible and must be designed and tested to communicate a sense of danger even to children who are too young to read.

  • Make sure there are sufficient wall outlets in you rooms so you don't have to use extension cords. If you happen to use an extension cord, make sure it is rated for the products to be plugged in.
  • Use extension cords on a temporary basis, not as permanent wiring.
  • Never keep an extension cord plugged in when not in use. The cord will still conduct electricity until it is unplugged from the outlet.
  • Do not use extension cords that are cut or damaged. Touching even a single exposed strand can give you an electric shock or burn.
  • Never run any electrical cord under a carpet. If the cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.
  • Use correctly wired three-prong electrical outlets if grounding is available. This assures the equipment is grounded.
  • Use only weather resistant heavy gauge extension cords marked "for outdoor use."
  • Do not overload the electrical circuits. Check your breaker box to determine which outlets are on the same circuit.
  • Turn off corresponding electrical products if a cord overheats
  • Never try to repair electrical products yourself. Always get expert help unless you are qualified.
  • Watch out for hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow for no reason and flickering lights.
  • Check electrical leads and plugs for wear and tear and faulty wiring. Frayed leads or exposed internal wires are fire risks.
  • Don’t overload sockets, use only one plug in each socket.
  • Never insert anything, especially metals (fork or knife etc.), but a plug into an electric outlet. Metals conduct electricity and you could receive a shock.
  • If children are at home, put safety covers on all electrical outlets that are within their reach to ensure their safety.
  • Keep electrical leads, plugs and appliances away from water.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order, and have them serviced regularly. This is especially important for washing machines and tumble dryers that may be left on overnight.
  • Never buy an electrical appliance without knowing it is safe to use. If the appliance is second-hand, always have it checked by a qualified electrician before you use it.
  • Make sure your hands and feet are dry when using electric appliances. Never use electric appliances in a bathtub, shower or around a sink.
  • A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) can be plugged or installed into an outlet to protect against electrical shock. GFCIs are products designed to prevent serious injury or death from electrical shock by detecting ground faults at very low levels.
  • In case of an electric fire, never use water. If possible to do so, unplug the appliance or equipment. If the fire is small, use a fire extinguisher made for use with electric fires. If the fire is not small, leave the house or area immediately and call for help.
  • Always assume any overhead line is a live power line.
  • Never touch downed power lines or use any object to move them. Consider every power line or wire on the ground to be energized and dangerous even if not sparkling. Although wood is not conductive, if even slightly wet it will conduct electricity and cause a shock.
  • Never drive over fallen power lines; they can get attached to your vehicle causing electrocution.
  • When working under or near power lines, ensure you are a safe distance away from the line (at least 3.5 meters). Be careful when carrying ladder or other long tools around your home, metal ladders conduct electricity, be aware you can get an electric shock.
  • Install antennas far from power lines.
  • Do not attempt to cut or trim trees that are in contact or could touch power lines. Contact the electricity utility for assistance.
  • Teach kids to never fly kites or other flying objects near power lines and never attempt to remove items caught in an overhead line.
  • Keep outdoor outlets and electrical products covered and dry between uses.
  • If an electrical product falls into a pool or pond, unplug it before you reach into the water.
  • Never use power tools near live electrical wires or water pipes. Ensure that you select tools designed for outdoor use; they should have heavier wiring and be double-insulated or have three-way grounded plugs.
  • Never climb power poles, towers or substation fences. If you have lost something over a substation fence, call the electricity utility to retrieve it.
  • If you were in an accident and hit a pole that resulted in power lines touching your car. If possible remain in your car and wait for help, you are safe as long as you stay inside. If you absolutely must get out of your car, jump clear of any fallen lines being careful not to touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. You must not become a part of the electric path to the ground.