The first thing to understand about electricity is that it always seeks the easiest path to ground. As it tries to reach ground, electricity travels through conductors. Good conductors include water, metal, wet wood or soil and our own bodies. If electricity enters our bodies, it can cause severe damage and death.
As electricity seeks ground, it can travel up to the speed of light and heat up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit almost instantly. And it doesn’t take much electricity to cause serious shock. The amount of current used by one 7.5 watt bulb, such as a Christmas tree light, can kill.
RMU is committed to operating in a safe and efficient manner. Certain safety precautions should be observed in handling electricity to avoid serious injury or death.
• AVOID use of electrical appliances or fixtures when standing barefoot on any wet surface.
• AVOID use of defective wiring or other defective electric appliances or fixtures.
• AVOID overloading electric outlets with too many plugs.
• AVOID using extension cords, especially to permanently connect a light or appliance. If an extension cord is used, don’t exceed its recommended rating, don’t plug two extension cords together and don’t place it beneath a rug.
• AVOID careless or improper use of electric cutting tools such as saws, drills, and grass or hedge trimmers. Insure that they are safeguarded from small children.
• AVOID letting curtains or other flammable objects come into contact with heat generating appliances such as stoves, irons, light bulbs or wiring.
• AVOID contact of any nature with outside wiring. Exercise caution with kites, ladders, antennas or other objects which might come into contact with high voltage power lines.
• INSURE proper use of the ground connection for electric appliances. Never remove the third prong from a plug head. The third prong connects with a ground wire.
• DO be cautious when pruning, trimming or cutting down trees near overhead electrical lines. Stay a minimum of 10 feet away.
• DO use the plug head–not the cord–to unplug an appliance.
• DO acquaint all family members with these safety precautions.
Prompt action is necessary to avoid serious injury or death to one who has sustained a severe electric shock. The person may be temporarily paralyzed and unable to free himself from contact. Care must be exercised by anyone coming to the aid of such a victim so they do not also sustain a similar shock by improperly contacting the victim.
If the electric current can be disconnected by throwing a switch or pulling a plug, do so. Otherwise, free the victim from contact, if possible, by using dry insulated objects such as a wooden broom handle or a thick bundle of dry cloth. Be sure you are standing on an insulated surface such as dry wooden boards or a rubber floor mat. If the victim is not breathing, start CPR. Get the victim to the doctor!
• If an appliance catches fire, don’t touch the appliance. Use a fire extinguisher rated for “Class C” fires or baking soda to put out the fire. Never use water on an electrical fire. It can cause an electrical shock.
• If the fire is large, get everyone out of the house and call the fire department.
• Prepare for a house fire before an emergency occurs. Plan escape routes and hold a fire drill with your family. Install and maintain smoke alarms and place a fire extinguisher on every floor.