Electrical Safety

Play it safe around electricity.

Avoid Electrical Shock

  • Never use electric power tools outdoors when they or the ground are wet.
  • Inspect power tools and other electrical equipment regularly. Repair or replace worn or damaged parts, power cords and plugs.
  • Don't leave plugged-in appliances where they can come in contact with water. If an appliance falls into water, turn off the power at the breaker before touching the appliance.
  • Immediately turn off and disconnect any electrical equipment that sparks.
  • Always disconnect equipment before cleaning or servicing.
  • When installing or removing any type of antenna, be sure you know where the power lines are located.
  • Make sure electrical outlets are in good condition.
  • Use electrical cords, power strips and surge protectors with polarized plugs (plugs with one blade wider than the other) or grounded three-prong plugs. Do not remove the third (grounding) prong. Insert plugs security so that no parts of the prongs are exposed.

If an Electrical Shock Occurs

Shock from a fallen power line: do not try to remove the line or touch the person. Call 911 for medical help and Jackson EMC to report the downed line.

Shock from wiring: do not touch the person. Unplug the equipment causing the shock or turn off the power at the main switch in the service box. Call 911 for medical help, then give first aid if you know how.

If a downed power line falls across your vehicle, stay in the vehicle until emergency crews arrive. If your vehicle is on fire and you must get out, try to do so without touching both the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Jump from your vehicle, landing with your feet together on the ground. Shuffle or hop from the vehicle until you are at least 100 feet away.

Working On or Near Energized Equipment

  • Wear protective clothing and equipment and use insulated tools in areas where there are possible electrical hazards.
  • De-energize (when possible) and visibly guard un-insulated overhead power lines whenever contact is possible.
  • Georgia has specific laws regarding the operation of equipment near power lines. Contact Jackson EMC if you need more details.
  • Before driving tall equipment, such as cranes, under power lines, or when lifting plumbing lines and irrigation pipe near power lines, make sure adequate clearance is available.
  • Do not use metal ladders when working around electrical lines.
  • Make sure antennas and other tall metal objects do not come in contact with power line.

Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) protect you when there's an accidental electric path formed between a source of current and the ground. This most often occurs in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens, where water can serve as an accidental conductor.

GFCIs are required by code in many areas of the home, including unfinished basements, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, crawl spaces and outdoors. If you have an older home, you may not have GFCIs, but you can have an electrician install them.

Like any device, GFCIs can wear out or be damaged, so to be sure yours are still protecting you, you should test them monthly. All you need to do is:

  • Push the red "RESET" button on the GFCI.
  • Plug in a light - a night light works well - and turn it on.
  • Push the "TEST" button. The light should go off.
  • Push the "RESET" button again, and the light should come back on.

If the "Reset" button pops out during the test but the light does not go out, there's a problem with the GFCI. If it fails these tests, contact an electrician.