Safety Tips

Outdoor Safety Checklist

  • I never trim or remove trees near over head lines.
  • I avoid planting new trees where they might grow into an overhead line.  I realize that a tree trimmer, metal ladder or other object can extend my reach dangerously close to overhead lines.
  • I never use electrical tools if my hands or feet are wet or if I’m standing on damp ground.
  • I look up and check clearance from overhead lines in all directions before installing an antenna for TV or radio, or before using a metal ladder.
  • I teach my children never to climb trees near overhead lines.
  • I always fly kites and model airplanes away from overhead lines.
  • I use only non-metal string or cord to fly kites and model airplanes and I never use metal to construct a kite.
  • If a kite or model airplane gets caught in an overhead line, I never attempt to retrieve it. I call my utility to remove it.
  • If I see a broken or fallen overhead line, I assume it’s “live” and call my utility as soon as possible.
  • If an overhead line falls on my car, as a result of an accident, I know I’m safe as long as I stay inside the car.
  • If I must exit the car, I jump, being careful not to touch the car and ground at the same time.
  • When making plans to erect new buildings, like grain bins, I locate them a safe distance from overhead lines.
  • I always bring tall farm equipment to its lowest level before moving it.
  • I know that utility poles, fences around electric substations, and transformers on the ground are “off limits” to everyone.

Indoor Safety Checklist

  • I check electrical cords for frays and nicks.
  • I make sure plugs and prongs aren’t loose or worn.
  • I don’t place cords where they could be tripped over or under rugs.
  • I never use an electric tool or appliance if my hands or feet are wet or if I’m standing in water or on a damp floor.
  • I know where my fuse box or circuit breaker panel is located.
  • I equip my home with a Class “C” fire extinguisher for electrical fires and check it periodically.
  • I never attempt to do home wiring improvements myself. I always call a qualified electrical contractor.
  • I insert specially designed plastic caps in low wall outlets when not in use to protect children from getting an electrical shock.
  • I unplug small appliances immediately after I use them.
  • I look for the Underwriter’s Laboratory label on every appliance I buy.
  • I don’t risk overloading wall outlets with adapters.
  • I avoid using extension cords for permanent uses.
  • I turnoff, unplug and repair any appliance that sputters, stalls or gives the slightest shock.
  • I teach my children the rules of electrical safety

Pool Safety

Who’s at risk?

Children age 4 and under have a higher rate of death by drowning than any other age group. Approximately 300 kids in this age group drown in home swimming pools every year. And in 2002, nearly 2,700 kids age 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for drowning-related incidents.

Keep your head above water with these safety tips:

  • Install barriers around your home swimming pool. One key barrier is a four-sided fence, four feet high, with slats less than four inches apart. The gates should be self-closing and self-latching, and no child should be able to reach the latch.
  • For above ground pools, secure and lock steps and ladders, or remove them when the pool’s not in use.
  • Door and pool alarms offer additional protection.
  • No amount of barriers or alarms replace supervision – always watch kids in the water. It only takes a few seconds for tragedy to strike.
  • Have a cordless phone, emergency numbers, a first aid kit and rescue equipment near the pool. And learn CPR!
  • Kids should never swim alone. More swimming pool don’ts:
    • Don’t run near the pool.
    • Don’t push or jump on others in the water.
    • Don’t dive or jump into shallow water.
  • Drowning isn’t the only danger. If you see storm clouds or hear thunder, get out of the pool immediately to avoid electrocution.
  • Contaminated pool water can make you sick. So for others’ sake, don’t swim if you’re sick yourself, don’t change a baby’s diaper near the pool, and put swim diapers on babies and toddlers. It’s also good practice to shower before you swim.  (

Storm Safety Checklist

Inside Safety

  • Stock up on nonperishable food, medicine, baby supplies, and pet food.
  • Purchase bottled water. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, battery-operated radios, extension cords, emergency generators, etc., and buy extra batteries.
  • Keep extra cash on hand, since an electrical power outage may prevent you from withdrawing money from automatic teller machines or banks.
  • Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. If the power goes out, this will keep food fresh longer. If you leave the refrigerator closed, most food will stay frozen or fresh for up to 12 hours.
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment–especially sensitive electronics.
  • Keep first aid kit and manual handy.
  • Have nonelectric can opener on hand.
  • Place your critical documents, such as birth certificates, insurance documents, special pictures, etc. in a safe box.

Outdoor Safety

  • Install an approved hurricane shutter system over windows and doors–or have on hand alternate coverings such as plywood.
  • When venturing outside, be on the lookout for downed power lines and stay away from them.
  • Trim trees that are NOT near power lines and clear debris. Once a hurricane warning is announced, trash pickup is suspended.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects, such as lawn furniture, inside.
  • If you plan to lower your TV antenna, do it well before storm winds arrive. Look around to identify power lines and stay clear.
  • If you have a swimming pool, turn off all pumps and filters and wrap them in waterproof materials. Water from the storm may otherwise damage them.
  • Where possible, insulate or cover water lines, hose bibs, etc. when confronted with severe cold weather.