We all know that electricity is fully capable of enhancing and saving lives, but it also has the intrinsic power to claim lives if handled incorrectly or without the proper respect.
Electricity and its potential danger should never be underestimated.
Sharyland Utilities believes it is very important to stress safety wherever electricity is present. Electricity is the most common energy source used today, and it is very safe as long as it is treated with respect.
Please take a few minutes to learn or be reminded of how electricity can be harmful if not taken seriously at all times.
Many power lines are underground. Touching an underground power line – with anything – could result in a serious or fatal injury. To cut through one is extremely dangerous and could even black out an entire area. Protect yourself at home and at work.
If you're gardening, landscaping, fencing or doing major excavations, DIAL 811 for underground locating service at least 48 hours in advance. The call is free.
You can also find more information at www.texas811.com.
Take special care when you are near power lines.
Touching Power Lines – Do not get close to or touch power lines yourself or with equipment. Even touching the equipment that contacts a line could be tragically harmful.
Antenna Installation – Be careful if you're installing an antenna; have someone help you. Touching or even going near an electrical line with a ladder or antenna could cause serious injury or death.
Children and Power Lines – Never let children fly kites or motorized airplanes near power lines. While kites almost always use cotton string, wet cotton string can conduct electricity almost as well as metal string. If a kite gets stuck in a tree, check first to make sure no power lines are nearby before retrieving it.
Trees and Shrubs – When planting trees or shrubs that will grow tall, make sure they will not grow up into nearby power lines. If you have a tree growing into a power line, please contact us immediately, and we will then assess the need to trim or cut the tree. We strongly urge you to consult a professional tree-trimming service. Each year a number of power lines fall because a well-meaning homeowner has dropped a tree or limb on a power line. Do not attempt to prune or chop down a tree near power lines yourself; a tree falling onto a power line could cause serious injury or death.
Downed Power Lines – Never touch downed power lines or use any object to move lines, including brooms, boards, limbs, or plastic materials. Although wood is non-conductive, if even slightly wet it will conduct electricity, causing electric shock or electrocution. Power lines can also slide down such objects when lifted. Only qualified electric utility workers should attempt to move downed power lines.
Downed Wire on a Vehicle – Stay in your vehicle and wait for help. Tell others to keep away or they could be electrocuted. If you must get out because of fire or other danger, jump clear of the vehicle without touching it and the ground at the same time. Then hop with feet together or shuffle away. Do not run or stride. Electricity spreads out through the ground in ripples, like a stone dropped in water. The voltage is highest in the ring closest to the vehicle and decreases with distance. Hop with feet together or shuffle away so that one foot will not be in a higher voltage zone than another, which could make you a conductor for electricity.
Ground-based electrical equipment and electric substations contain high-voltage equipment which can cause severe or fatal injuries.
Teach children to recognize the danger signs displayed on high-voltage equipment.
Do not sit or play around ground-based electrical equipment, meters, or transformers (these are the green metal boxes seen around the neighborhood and parks).
Never go into an electric substation for any reason and stay away from electric substation fences. Do not retrieve a toy or rescue a pet that goes inside. Call Sharyland Utilities instead.
Electricity and Water Safety – Electricity and water do not mix!
- In the Bathroom
Be careful in the bathroom and near sinks; radios, hairdryers and other electrical appliances are hazardous if you use them near water. If your hands are wet or you are standing on a damp floor, you could get a serious electrical shock.
Any plugs that are near sources of water should be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).
- Electrical Outlets
If you are using equipment that sprays water, avoid spray contact with overhead lines. Never step into a flooded area if water is in contact with electrical outlets, equipment or cords.
Electricity and Appliance Safety – Electrical appliances can cause a serious shock or fire hazard if the equipment is poorly designed or manufactured!
- Good Working Order
Keep appliances in good working order. Check cords for damage, fraying or nicks. Never use a tool or appliance with a frayed cord or where the insulation is nicked and wires are exposed.
- Grounding Prongs
Check plugs for bent or damaged prongs. Do not break off the grounding prong on a three-prong plug.
Watch out for sparks; they are a signal for potential danger. If you see any sparks, turn off and unplug your appliance immediately.
- Keep Clean
Keep appliances clean. Clean the removable lint filter on your clothes dryer after each load. Dirt, dust or lint can make appliances unsafe to use; lint and dust are flammable. Always disconnect an appliance before cleaning.
Electricity and Fire Safety – If you notice anything that might cause an electrical fire, take action at once by calling a qualified repair person. Frequently blown fuses or tripped circuits are symptoms of electrical problems. Overloading means overheating and that could cause a fire.
When replacing fuses, using the recommended amperage is very important.
- Light Bulbs
Do not exceed the recommended wattage when replacing bulbs in lamps, light fixtures or holiday lighting.
- Extension Cords
If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is the right capacity for the tool or appliance with which it is used. Use grounded (three-prong) extension cords for outdoor tools and holiday lighting.
- Water and Electric Fires
Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Water conducts electricity and you could receive a bad shock. If flames are small, use baking soda or a fire extinguisher approved for Class C (electrical) fires.
- Smoke or Flame
If smoke or a flame is coming from an appliance, do not touch the appliance. Unplug it or go to the main circuit breaker and turn off all power to the house. If the smoke or flames don't die out, try using an approved Class C fire extinguisher.
Dog bites are a real threat to our meter readers and personnel.
From time to time, Sharyland Utilities employees must have access to your property. Some employees enter your property to read the electric meter. Others may access your property to assist with electrical problems.
To help us keep them safe, please keep your dogs safely secured in an area at least 10 feet away from your meter box. If you have new puppies, please let us know as mother dogs can be very protective of their young.