#PSEGTips

Follow these electric safety tips to keep electricity flowing through the circuits and wires … not you!

In the United States, on average 400 people die from electrocution and 4,400 are injured each year. We want to keep you safe! Whether you’re at home or at work, be sure to make electrical safety everyone’s priority.

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This goes without saying, but electricity and water don’t mix! Never handle electric appliances with wet hands or damp hands, and never use electric appliances in wet or damp conditions unless the appliances are specifically rated for this use.

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Little ones get into everything! If you have toddlers in the house or coming for a visit, be sure to secure electric sockets with plastic closures that fit snugly and cannot be removed easily.

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Fray and fringe may be good for clothes, but not electric wires. Inspect all appliances and extension cords regularly to ensure that they are in good condition. Cords should not be loose or frayed and should have a grounding prong intact if so equipped.

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Electric fires do NOT like water! Never pour water on an electric fire, it acts as a conductor and can cause shock. You must use a fire extinguisher that is rated as Class C.

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Wiring is not a DIY activity … leave it to professionals! Proper electric wiring for any building is critical and must meet codes and standards of safety. Employ the services of a licensed professional who can do the job safely and correctly.

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Melt your chocolate, not your socket! Lights and bulbs can be sources of heat and must be kept away from flammable materials, including upholstery, drapes, lampshades, bedding and cribs. Never exceed the maximum wattage specified for the device. Consider replacing bulbs with a lower wattage bulb.

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Turn it off! When doing work on electric equipment, ensure that all sources of electricity to the appliance are turned off. When working on or near outlets, overhead lights, or cutting into drywall, be sure to shut off the correct breaker. A simple voltage tester can be purchased for home use at a local electrical supply store. Making contact with household currents can result in death or severe burns.

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Extension cords are your friends, don’t misuse them. Never use extension cords as a permanent substitute for additional outlets. Also, never overload extension cords. Discard them if they have worn out wires or loose connections.

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Oops, is that an electric cord under my rug? Electric wires and cords radiate heat. Never cover wires with rugs or furniture. They could overheat and start a fire.

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Keep your hair dryer out of the bathroom sink and tub! Electric outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and garages should be ground fault circuit interrupting (GFCI) outlets to reduce the chance of electric shock. GFCI outlets are required around pools and spas. Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI), especially in homes with aging wiring systems, can also be added to enhance protection from fires.

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Don’t put yourself in an electrifying situation. Keep ladders at least 10 feet from power lines. When working outside of your home, always make sure that, if the ladder fell, it would not contact any power lines or other electrical equipment.

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Downed power lines are NOT your friends! Never touch a downed power line or go near one. Always assume the power line is live. Immediately call PSE&G at 800-436-PSEG (7734) or your local utility to report downed wires.

To learn more about potential electrical hazards and how to use electricity safely, visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International’s website at http://www.esfi.org.