Electrical Safety

The Laurens CPW, your city's electric utility, recommends homeowners plug into the following electrical safety tips for warm weather outdoor activities.

Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housings. If the electrical device is damaged, stop using it immediately. Replace it or have it repaired.

When using tools or extension cords outside, make sure they are marked "for outdoor use."

Never use electrically operated tools in the rain or in wet conditions.

Unplug all portable power tools when not in use. Do not leave a power tool unattended even for a brief period of time. A child can turn on the tool and cause serious injury.

Metal ladders conduct electricity. Watch out for overhead wires and power lines.

Tips about Halogen Floor Lamps

Here is a home safety reminder about halogen floor lamps that will help you reduce the risk of fire and bums. These fashionable lamps produce a clean, intense white light . . . but they also operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. The Laurens CPW suggests that you keep these simple safety tips in mind:

Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials.

Prevent trip hazards; keep your halogen lamp and its cord away from traffic areas.

Turn lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time.

Carefully read all instructions and warnings that accompany the lamp for important safety tips.

Never use halogen lamps in children's bedrooms or playrooms. Children may play with lamps or place combustibles such as stuffed toys or clothing too close to the bulb area.

Also, make sure all the light bulbs in your home are the appropriate size and type for the lamp or fixture.

Check for potential hazards throughout your home.

Most of us don't think much about electricity unless we are forced to go without it. But just like light bulbs and appliances, the electrical system in your home deserves attention. Many potential household hazards are easily identified and corrected.

Make certain lamp and extension cords are not cracked, frayed, or covered by rugs or furniture.

Check light bulb wattage to insure it is appropriate for the fixture.

Electrical appliances should be kept away from damp and hot surfaces and have adequate ventilation.

Dim or flickering lights, arcs or sparks, sizzling or buzzing sounds from your electrical system, odors, hot switch plates, loose plugs and damaged insulation, among other things, are signs of potential hazards. A qualified electrician should be contacted.

Never remove the third prong of a three-pronged plug. Convert two-pronged outlets using an adapter with a ground tab.

Keep outdoor outlets and electrical products covered and dry between uses.

If an electrical device falls into a pool or bathtub, unplug it before you reach into the water.

Turn off electrical devices if the cord overheats.

Never try to repair electrical devices yourself.

Follow Safety Guidelines When Using Portable Generators.
Use of portable generators during power outages can cause serious problems if you don't follow connection instructions carefully. Improper use can "back feed" energy into power lines, endangering your life and lives of electric utility workers repairing power lines some distance away.

Portable generators are designed to be connected only to selected appliances or lamps. These generators should never be connected directly to a building's wiring system.

To ensure you are using your generator safely:
• Notify Laurens CPW if using a generator for emergency power.
• Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions before connecting your generator.
• Connect appliances directly to the portable generator - and never connect a portable generator to your building's wiring system.
• Always locate your generator where its exhaust will vent safely.
• Keep cords out of the way so they don't present a tripping hazard - especially in dimly lit doorways or halls. Never run cords under rugs or where heat might build up or damage to a cord may go unnoticed.