Stay Safe While Using Electricity

Safety is the highest priority for Union Power, and as your local energy provider, we encourage our members to make safety a priority, too. May is National Electrical Safety Month, but it’s important to take safety precautions year-round.

Here are some simple tips:

DO:

  •  Unplug it. Appliances, tools, and other devices are still connected to electricity when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. Turn off AND unplug all electric devices when you’re done using them.
  •  Inspect it. Examine electrical cords often for broken connectors or fraying, and throw away any worn cords. Only buy cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. Also, watch your wattage/lumens and only use light bulbs that don’t
    exceed the maximum wattage/lumens listed on your lamp or fixture.

 Check it. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets—those that protect against electrocution— should be used in any area where water and electricity could mix, including kitchens, bathrooms, garages and outdoors, and should be tested monthly. You should also check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month to ensure they are working properly.

DON’T:

  •  Overload it. Overloaded electrical circuits can cause residential fires. Never use extension cords or multioutlet converters for appliances. All major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall outlet, and you should only plug one heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time.
  •  Extend it. Extension cords are not a permanent solution. If you’re using extension cords regularly, you may need extra outlets and should contact a licensed electrician.
  • Touch it. Never go near or drive over a power line. If you encounter a downed line, leave the area immediately and notify us at 704-289-3145. Never place ladders, poles, or other items near power lines, and don’t fly kites or drones near lines or substations. Teach children not to put their fingers in electrical outlets, use child-proof outlet covers, and keep appliances and cords away from children. Also, never touch electrical appliances with wet hands or use them near sinks, tubs, toilets, or showers.