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A family guide to electric safety - a practical guide for children and adults

With the flick of a switch, you can heat, cool and light your surroundings with electricity. It's so easy. However, you must use caution when you are around or using this energy source. Safe use of electricity can prevent fires in your home and injuries to your family. Here are some tips for all members of your household to follow when using electricity.

Please share these safety tips with your children, and tell them to "play it safe" around the house and outdoors by staying away from electrical equipment, wires and appliances. Most importantly, they should call an adult immediately if they see any problems with electrical wires or equipment.

Electric safety tips for children

Indoors

  • NEVER touch electrical appliances, light switches or anything using electricity if you have wet hands or are standing on a wet surface. Electricity travels through water, and you could be shocked or seriously injured. NEVER stick metal objects in electric outlets. Again, you could be shocked or seriously injured.

Outdoors

  • NEVER climb or play around trees that are close to power lines! If you see a tree limb that is too close to a power line, call LG&E's Forestry Services department at (502) 627-3315 (outside Louisville 800-331-7370) to remove it. If a pet or any animal gets trapped on a utility pole or in a tree that is near power lines, call LG&E anytime, day or night, at (502) 589-1444 (outside Louisville 800-331-7370) and let us help you. Never try to help the animal yourself!
  • NEVER climb or play near the metal or brick fences that surround electrical equipment. The fences around electric substations are there to keep people away for their safety. If a ball or other object falls inside the fence, DO NOT try to get it yourself. Call LG&E at (502) 589-1444 (outside Louisville 800-331-7370), and we'll be happy to help.
  • NEVER fly kites or model airplanes near power lines! Play in parks or other open spaces with no power lines to prevent the danger of severe injuries if a kite string or toy control wire should touch a power line.

Electric safety tips for adults

Indoors

  • NEVER overload a single electrical outlet or an extension cord with several appliance plugs. Always check the wattage on appliance labels to avoid an electrical overload. Do not place extension cords under carpet or set heavy objects, such as furniture, on extension cords. Doing so can cause the cord to overheat or short and cause a fire.
  • During thunderstorms, turn off all appliances. Don't use the telephone. If your TV is on, stay a safe distance from it in the event of a lightning strike. Use a battery-powered radio or TV for weather information and storm updates.

Outdoors

  • ALWAYS be alert when working in the vicinity of power lines. NEVER let a person or equipment get close to power lines. ALWAYS be aware of the location of overhead and underground power lines at all times to avoid injury.
  • When planning a home improvement or landscaping project, contact Kentucky 811 at least two business days in advance to have someone visit your home to mark all of the underground utility lines.
  • When carrying tall extension ladders outside, ALWAYS carry them parallel to the ground, and check for the location of overhead power lines before setting the ladder upright.

Downed power line safety

  • NEVER touch downed power lines or try to move a person or object in contact with these lines. ALWAYS assume that any downed line is an energized power line and stay away.
  • If you observe someone near a downed power line, warn the person to stay away. Call LG&E at (502) 589-1444 (outside Louisville 800-331-7370) to disconnect power; call 911 if the situation is an emergency or if someone is injured.
  • ALWAYS ASSUME any downed line is an energized power line. There is no way to tell by looking if a downed wire is "live" or not or if it is a cable or telephone line. Even if you do not see sparks, you should assume the line is energized and dangerous. Always warn others to STAY AWAY from downed lines.

By following these safety guidelines, you and your family can enjoy a safe environment of light, heat and comfort.