• Have a licensed, qualified heating technician service your furnace or heating system. 

  • Change heating system filters to keep air passing through. 

  • Replace batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.  

  • Don’t use electrical appliances around wet areas like bathtubs or sinks.

  • Dry your hands before using electrical appliances.

  • Keep electric heaters on level surfaces and 6-8 feet from furniture, curtains, and drapes.

  • Never turn on an appliance when you’re on a wet floor or in the bathtub or shower.

  • If an appliance or tool is damaged, have it repaired or discard it.

  • Always disconnect small appliances and tools before cleaning them.

  • To disconnect an appliance or tool, don’t pull the cord: instead, grasp the plug and pull it from the outlet.

  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or flooring. Be sure that the size of your extension cord is adequate for the tool or appliance.

  • Never touch or approach downed power lines. Always assume that downed wires are energized. Call JNEC or your local law enforcement immediately to report downed power lines.

  • Keep all objects away from electrical lines. If you don’t know whether an object is conductive – play it safe, and assume it is.

  • Don’t use electrical tools near water or in the rain. Keep antennas away from power lines.

  • Don’t fly kites near electric wires. If the kite string gets caught in power lines, leave it alone; don’t try to remove the string from the lines. Instead, call JNEC for assistance.

  • If you plan to use an auxiliary generator during a temporary power outage, or at any time, follow the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations.

  • Never climb a utility pole, and never climb a tree that is near electrical wires.

  • Never enter a substation or fenced enclosure that surrounds electrical equipment. The fenced-off area is extremely hazardous.

Accidents involving electrical lines or wires require special precautions to prevent further injury. Until the power source has been turned off or removed, always consider an electrical wire or downed power line energized and maintain a safe distance from it.

Do not touch anyone in contact with a downed power line. Contact JNEC immediately, and then call local law enforcement. Read the Overhead Powerlines section below for more information on what to do if a powerline is down.

Overhead, Power lines carry thousands of volts of electricity. Contact with one of these wires may result in serious injury or death, as well as equipment damage. Almost all accidents can be avoided with a greater awareness of overhead power lines and by incorporating safe electrical practices in your work and play.

Weather and car accidents are the main causes of downed power lines. Always stay away and warn others to stay clear of power lines. Even if they don’t hum, spark, or “dance,” downed power lines can be very dangerous. They can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or even death.

Contacting a power line can be dangerous and, in some cases, even deadly. JNEC wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.

Keep a safe distance.

Whether playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home. Always keep your tools, equipment, and yourself at least 10 feet from overhead power lines. Know the height of all equipment. Play it safe.

If you see a downed powerline, always remember to follow these rules:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers, and electrical boxes.

  • Never climb trees near power lines. Even if the power lines aren’t touching the tree, they could touch when more weight is added to the branch.

  • Be careful when working on or around your roof, installing rooftop antennas and satellite dishes, doing roof repair work, or cleaning gutters. Never go up on the roof in bad weather.

  • Never fly kites, remote control airplanes, drones, or balloons near power lines.

  • Keep children and pets away.

  • Never touch or go near a downed power line.

  • If you see a downed power line, move away from the power line and anything touching it.

  • Don’t try to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the line by using any object such as a broom, stick, flagpole, or PVC pipe.

  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.

  • Don’t drive over downed power lines.

  • If you are in your car and it is in contact with a downed line, stay in your vehicle. Honk your horn for help but tell others to stay away from your vehicle. Call if you have a cell phone or ask a passerby to do it.

  • If someone is in direct contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. Instead, call JNEC and 911.

  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call JNEC.

Power Line Hazards and Cars

If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Personally call, or ask someone to call JNEC and 911.

As in all power line-related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing JNEC or 911.

Do not try to help someone else from the car until JNEC has declared the scene safe.

For tips on staying safe around power lines, visit's page on Overhead Powerline Safety here.

Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits:

When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

Individuals must strictly follow manufacturer recommendations and specifications if it is necessary to use a portable generator. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, individuals should immediately contact a qualified electrician to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

Some Generator Safety Tips:

  • Individuals should operate generators according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

  • Generators give off deadly carbon monoxide. Operate it outdoors in an area with plenty of ventilation. Never run a generator in a home or garage.

When using portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position before starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed electrical energy from the generators and help protect utility line workers or other repair workers, or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. 

Effects of Backfeed

The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths. Following these safety guidelines can reduce this risk.

Other Generator Hazards

Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well-ventilated areas.

For more tips, visit Safe's page on generator safety here.

These safety tips come from For more safety tips, visit their website here.

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