During National Electric Safety Month and all year round, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation reminds its customers to use electricity safely.
"We all depend upon and use electricity every day for lighting, heating, powering household appliances, electronics and even telecommunications," said Ryan Hawthorne, Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson. “National Electric Safety Month reminds us that we should not take electricity for granted, as misuse can cause injury or even death. That is why it's so important to take proper precautions, and to help our families learn about electric safety."
According to Electric Safety Foundation International, 51,000 home fires in the United States are caused by electrical malfunctions each year. Steps to avoid overloaded electric circuits include:
- Ensuring all major appliances are plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Only plug one heat-producing appliance into a receptacle outlet at a time.
- Understanding that power strips only add additional outlets; they do not change the amount of power being received from the outlet, so the receptacle may become overloaded.
Before starting any outdoor project, such as working on the roof, trimming trees or painting a home or building, know where power lines are located. If work activities are within 10 feet of overhead power lines, contact Central Hudson at (845) 452-2700 so that a safe work plan can be determined. Outdoor project safety measures include:
- Locating all overhead power lines before beginning work;
- Staying at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines, and contacting Central Hudson if work activities may be closer;
- Calling 811 before digging or excavating to identify the location of underground utilities, including electrical lines, to avoid potential injury and interruption of electric service;
- Not touching anything in contact with power lines; and
- Carrying ladders and equipment horizontally.
During storms and other emergencies:
- Call 911 to report downed power lines and stay at least 30 feet away;
- Follow the manufacturer's safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors; and
- Beware of downed power lines entangled in fallen trees and limbs.
Other safety tips include:
- Never mixing electricity and water, and keeping devices such as hair dryers and radios away from filled tubs, sinks, swimming pools and other sources of water;
- Never running extension cords or wiring under carpets and rugs, and using properly rated extension cords for the devices being used;
- Installing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets located near sources of water such as in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry areas and outdoors, and using tamper-proof outlets to keep young children safe;
- Having licensed professionals perform electrical work on homes and businesses, and having older wiring inspected for worn insulation or overloading; and
- Knowing where wiring is located behind walls before installing wall hangers or performing remodeling and shutting off circuit breakers before beginning work.
For more on National Electric Safety Month, visit the Electric Safety Foundation International website at www.ESFI.org/program/national-electrical-safety-month-314, or the Safety section of Central Hudson's website at www.CentralHudson.com/Safety. To view a video on safety precautions for outdoor projects, click here.
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