Keeping our employees, members, families and the public safe is our number one priority. It has to be in this industry. Electricity is a wonderful thing but only when it is used properly. It is easy to take electricity for granted and forget how dangerous it can be when you can’t see it, hear it or feel it. That is why we offer many resources to educate you and your family on living and working around electricity. Click on the links to the right to learn more.
Every year, we bring the Live Line Demo to local schools to educate young drivers on how to handle accidents involving electric lines. School participation is based on a three year rotation. Interested in watching Live Line Demo yourself? We’d be happy to invite you to the next demonstration in your area open to the public. Let us know.
Not finding the information you’re looking for? We have a wide range of materials available at our office. We’d be happy to answer your questions. Contact our Communications Department for additional materials or for answers to your questions not listed on our website.
Safe Electricity is a joint effort by the members of the Illinois Electric Council to increase electric safety awareness. To find safety articles, video clips, and classroom materials, visit:
Call JULIE Before You Dig
You may be surprised by what’s buried in your yard. That’s because today, more electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunications companies are delivering utility services underground. To avoid personal injury and damage to those lines, state law requires you to contact JULIE before any digging project, regardless of the project size or depth.
What is JULIE? JULIE, Inc. (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) is a not-for-profit corporation that provides homeowners and professional excavators with only one place to call for safer digging. JULIE acts as a notification service for underground facility owners.
Projects such as these are examples of when to call JULIE: Decks, patios, trees,
shrubs, fences, mailbox posts, swing sets, room additions, signs, gardens, fountains, swimming pools, tents, landscaping, etc.
Who should call? The person actually doing the digging.
When do I call? At least 48 hours (2 working days, excludes weekends and holidays) in advance of the start of excavation. You must begin your project within 14 days from the time you call.
It’s vital to keep farm equipment safely away from overhead power lines. Keep a minimum 10 foot safety radius around the electric line.
Farm operators, family members, and farm employees are urged to take these measures:
• Use a spotter when moving tall loads near lines.
• Inspect farm equipment for transport height and determine clearance with any power lines under which the equipment must pass.
• Make sure everyone knows what to do if accidental contact is made with power lines.
It’s almost always best to stay in the cab, call for help and wait until the electric utility arrives to cut off the power. If the power line is energized and you step outside, your body becomes the path and electrocution is the result. Stay inside the vehicle unless there’s fire or imminent risk of fire. In that case, the proper action is to jump – not step – with both feet hitting the ground at the same time. Jump clear, without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time and continue to shuffle or hop to safety keeping both feet together as you leave the area.
Caution urged when using back-up generators
If you use a back-up generator when electric service is interrupted, make sure you know how to operate it safely. Unsafe operation can threaten you, your family, neighbors, and even the linemen working to restore power. Unsafe installation or operation may also result in a lawsuit and your insurance may not cover your liability.
Follow these guidelines to make sure you are operating your generator safely;
• Temporary use generators should not be connected to the circuit breaker or fuse box.
• Permanently installed generators should be wired into your home by a qualified electrician, using a transfer switch that prevents potentially deadly back-feed.
• They should only be operated while they are outside a home to prevent toxic and potentially deadly exhaust from entering a home.
• When refueling generators, allow the engine to cool to prevent a fire should the gas tank overflow.
• When starting a generator, disconnect all appliances that might be connected to it. That will not only protect them, but prevent a fuse from being blown on the generator
Following these guidelines will keep you and your family safe and with emergency power until your service is restored. Learn more at www.safeelectricity.org.
Electrical Safety Tips
• Check outlets for loose–fitting plugs. Replace missing or broken wall plates so wiring and components are not exposed. If you have young children at home, cover unused outlets with plastic safety caps.
• Never force plugs into outlets. Don’t remove the grounding pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet. Avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs.
• Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked, placed under carpets or rugs, or located in high traffic areas. Do not nail or staple them to walls, floors or other objects.
• Use extension cords only on a temporary basis – not as permanent household wiring. Make sure they have safety closures to protect children from shock and mouth burns.
• Check wattage to ensure light bulbs match the fixture requirements. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage ratings than recommended. Screw them in securely.
• Make sure outlets in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, workshop, basement and garage have GFCIs. Test them monthly to ensure they’re working properly.
• Make sure fuses are properly sized for the circuit they are protecting. If you don’t know the correct rating, have an electrician identify and label the correct size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same size you are removing.
• If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or has given you an electrical shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. Look for cracks or damage in wiring and connectors. Use surge protectors to protect electronics.
• Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, wires, or loose lighting fixtures. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls. Immediately shut off, then professionally replace light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that spark and flicker.
• Teach children to stay away from electric utility equipment – Never enter a substation; don’t play on pad mounted transformers; fly kites safely away from overhead power lines.
• If you see a downed or sagging power line, stay far away, warn others to stay away and call the utility.
• When working outside, keep yourself and equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines and service connections.
• Always look up before using long tools like pruning poles, ladders or antennas.
• Never place tall items like a ladder or antenna near a power line or electric service connection to your home.
• Be especially aware when working near backyard swimming pools. Pool cleaning equipment, especially long metal poles on leaf skimmers, will conduct current to the person holding it.
• When trimming trees, be aware broken or dislodged branches may have also become tangled in overhead electric lines, or pushed the wire closer to the ground.
• Don’t use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet.
• Make sure your outdoor outlets have ground fault (GFCI) protection; use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets don’t have one.