Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety in the Home

by: Michael Del Greco

Electricity is a wonderful part of our lives, clearly enabling us to do so many of the things we take for granted. Food preparation, entertainment, communication, and so much more are all dependent upon the delivery of electricity. And yet, coming into direct contact with electrical current can severely injure you. In some cases, it can even kill you. Here are some things you can do to keep safe. Some of what we suggest may seem obvious, but we include it here because we believe it's impossible to over emphasize the importance of safety.

Electrical Safety Outdoors

Undoubtedly, first and foremost, stay clear of all power lines, especially those on the ground. Consider a downed wire to be "live" with electrical current going through it.

Downed Electrical Power Lines

Your power company wants to know about any outages or power lines that are down. Please call it immediately if you experience or see a problem. You can call them 24 hours a day and they'll send emergency crews out to make repairs.

Inside a Car Touched by a Power Line

Electric Lines and Trees

Trees are certainly beautiful and enhance our neighborhoods. However, trees planted in the utility right of way must be tended to so that electric service can be maintained on behalf of all of our citizens.

If your tree encroaches into the utility right of way, it becomes your responsibility to keep it trimmed; otherwise, the City will clear those trees that have not been maintained and threaten the electric service.

Trees that grow into or near the power lines which go to your house are also your responsibility and are only trimmed by the City when they threaten continuity of electric service.

To trim near power lines safely:

Call you power company if there is any question as to whether or not a tree is contacting the electric wires before trimming it. They can move power lines away from trees so that they may be trimmed safely. Call them a couple of days in advance of trimming so that they can coordinate with you.

Never hire unqualified tree trimmers or do the work yourself when trees are contacting high voltage electric wires.

Never cut tree limbs that are touching power lines or that could fall into them.

Electrical Lines and Flying Objects

Don't let metallic balloons or kites get away. Balloons and kites with shiny, metallic surfaces or strings can be very dangerous if they come into contact with electrical lines. As Benjamin Franklin discovered, they're excellent conductors of electricity, and, if they get tangled in the line, they can cause a short circuit. This can melt an electrical wire and cause it to fall, resulting in a power outage and possibly severe injury or even death.

Fly kites safely. Kites and electrical lines can be a potentially deadly match. Use common sense when flying a kite; always use dry string, wood, and paper and never use wire or any metallic material. Don't fly your kite in the rain and never try to retrieve your kite if it gets caught in a power line. Call the power company.

Digging and Electrical Lines

Call before you dig. You need to find out if there are lines in the ground before you dig for any reason, such as planting trees and bushes or installing fences and posts. If you fail to call you could end up in JAIL or worse.

Electrical Safety Indoors

Be just as careful with electricity indoors as out. In fact, odds are you and your family are more likely to come into contact with electricity inside your home, so take precautions.

About The Author

Michael Del Greco is a New Jersey Home Inspector, owner of Accurate Inspections, Inc. who is a Certified, Licensed ASHI Member performing home inspections in Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Morris Counties

"its very good and helpful thanks to the author."


"The comments regarding responsibility for trees near powerlines are not applicable to the UK. Most Utility Companies will cut trees free of charge. "




"There is no such thing as a licensed electrician in the UK, the best way of ensuring you have an electrician of a good standard is to use an NICEIC registered electrician. www.niceic.com"