Electric safety, inside and out.
Electricity brings light and heat — not to mention clean laundry — into our lives. And while we can be appreciative for all that, we should always remember to handle electricity with care. Click on the links below to take you further down the page.
Stay safe while you’re working outdoors.
Stay safe while you’re playing outdoors.
Stay safe around downed power lines.
Stay safe around electrical substations.
In your home, you’ll find a service panel with fuses or circuit breakers. Fuses will “blow” and breakers will “trip” automatically in the instance of a short circuit or a power overload that could damage your wiring. Here’s what to do if that happens:
- Eliminate the problem, which is often too many appliances plugged into your kitchen circuit.
- Turn off the main power switch before replacing a burned-out fuse with a new one with the same rating. Then restore power.
- In the case of a tripped circuit breaker, set it back to the “on” position.
- Avoid any contact with your electrical system. Plastic gloves, utensils or other household items will not protect you.
We’ve gathered more information to help you avoid electric shocks and burns:
- Water and electricity are a deadly combination. Never use an electric appliance in or around your bathtub, shower or any other wet surface.
- Never touch an electric cord or appliance with wet hands.
- Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are required for outdoor outlets and those in crawl spaces, bathrooms, garages and near your kitchen sink.
- Don’t overload your electric outlets with too many plugs.
- Only use extension cords at their recommended rating, and never string two together or place an extension cord underneath a rug.
- Cover your outlets with plastic safety caps if you have small children around.
- Never insert a metal object into an appliance. (That goes for your toaster, too!)
- Worn cords can cause shorts, shocks and fires. Don’t use them.
- Don’t carry an appliance by the cord.
- When you unplug an appliance, pull the plug head, not the cord.
- If an appliance smokes, sparks or shocks you, unplug it and have it repaired before you use it again.
- If an appliance catches fire, unplug it, remove the fuse or switch the breaker to “off.” If you can’t control the fire, evacuate the premises and call 911.
- Use a licensed electrician for your home improvement projects.
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Look up. There are probably high-voltage power lines overhead. They’re dangerous and we want to you know what you need to know to avoid an accident.
- Note where power lines are located before you get started on a project.
- Never bring ladders, long-handled tools or other items within 10 feet of an overhead power line.
- Be careful when trimming trees. Stay at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Always use power tools and electric lawn mowers in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure they’re intended for outdoor use and plugged into outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
- If digging trenches, fence posts or other work that requires digging, remember to call before you dig.
- Teach children to never fly a kite or model airplane near electric power lines.
- Keep sailboat masts, boats on trailers and fishing poles well away from power lines.
If you see a downed power line
- Stay as far away as possible and keep others away.
- Call Avista Utilities at (800) 227-9187.
- Don’t touch or move the line.
- Do not attempt to rescue someone else who has touched the line.
Around electrical substations
- Do not enter electrical substations.
- Do not go into a substation to retrieve balls, kites or any other objects that go over the fence.
- Do not attach your fence to a substation fence because that can create an electrical hazard for you and others.
- Do call Avista Utilities at (800) 227-9187 if a substation’s entry gates are open and you do not see an Avista vehicle nearby.
- Do keep children away and call Avista Utilities if the fence around an electrical substation is damaged or does not touch the ground.
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