Electric Safety Tips
Be safe. Be smart. Review our electric safety tips with your family.
“Look Up and Live!” Overhead Power Line Safety
- Overhead power lines at various voltages travel down your street and to your home.
- Contacting an overhead wire with your body or having conductive objects like ladders, poles and antennas come in contact with your body can cause serious injury or death. Accidents can happen even without direct contact.
- Know where power lines are at all times. If you are working on your roof, windows, siding or rain gutters keep yourself, tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from any wires. Greater distances are required for higher voltage transmission lines.
- Keep kites, helium filled balloons, and remote control aircraft away from overhead electric lines to avoid the potential for power outages, fires and serious injuries.
- If a balloon or toy is caught in a power line, contact UGI immediately at 1-800-276-2722 to report the problem. Never attempt to retrieve anything that is on or near a power line.
- There are other kinds of electric wires to consider including “guy” wires which support utility poles and “risers”, wires enclosed in metal or plastic pipes on the sides utility poles. They connect overhead to underground systems.
Customers and contractors concerned about working around power lines should contact UGI at 1-800-276-2722 to see if additional steps are necessary to provide a safe work environment.
Assume that wires are energized and don’t touch them. Stay away from fallen wires and warn others to keep away. Call UGI at 1-800-276-2722 and the police immediately. If a wire is touching your vehicle, stay inside. If your car catches fire, it’s important that you leave the vehicle immediately. Because metal conducts electricity, don’t touch the car’s metal and the ground at the same time. Jump clear of the vehicle for proper exit.
Indoor Electrical Fires
Without touching the appliance, unplug it or turn off the electrical supply. Use a Class C-rated fire extinguisher, if available. If one is not available, throw baking soda on the fire – never use water on an electrical fire. If necessary, call your fire department.
Improper use of portable generators can lead to electrical fires or poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Never use a generator indoors, in your garage or basement, or in any enclosed space. Always use proper power cords and follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Do not overload the generator by operating more equipment than the generator’s output rating. Be sure your generator is properly grounded.
Be sure to turn off light switches when you change a bulb. To avoid fire through overheating, use only bulbs of the appropriate wattage for the fixture. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) are quickly replacing old, inefficient light bulbs. The EPA has recommended clean up steps that should be taken in the event a CFL bulb breaks. Learn more about CFL bulbs and recommended clean up steps.
If you have children, or even if they’re visiting your home, make sure you have installed safety plugs and outlet covers (available at most hardware stores and home project centers). Also, never overload your outlets. Too many cords plugged into one circuit creates an electrical hazard.
Check your cords often for fraying or damage and replace them if necessary. Use the right extension cord for the job: heavy-duty extension cords with power tools, moisture-resistant extension cords outdoors. Plus, place all cords safely out of the way so people don’t trip over them.
Are Your Trees Too Big?
Proper planting and tree-trimming procedures are necessary to help prevent interruption of electrical service. A service interruption can occur when branches contact power lines. Trees must be kept a safe distance from all electrical wires. To assure your safety and reliable service, UGI maintains a coordinated vegetation management program that promotes proper tree selection and planting, as well as tree trimming in the vicinity of power lines. A free brochure entitled “Trees for Streets and Lawns” is available by calling (800) 276-2722.
UGI’s Safety & Security Lighting Program
For a nominal monthly charge, you can have UGI’s outdoor lighting service, which includes your choice of fixture, energy, installation and maintenance. Learn more or call (800) 276-2722 to sign up.