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Electrical Safety at Home

NES offers important advice for staying safe during storms and around electricity. Always have an emergency supply kit handy, including batteries, flashlights, a portable radio, battery-powered clock, nonperishable food, bottled water and a fully charged cell phone.

  • Appliances & Outlets
    • Replace cords that are damaged or frayed.
    • Don’t place cords under carpet or rugs.
    • Remember that overloaded outlets can cause a fire.
    • Child-proof your home with outlet covers or plastic outlet caps.
    • Never set an appliance or electronic on the edge of the bathtub.
    • Never touch an appliance that has fallen into water. Shut off power at the breaker before unplugging or removing the appliance.
    • Don't use a hair dryer if you have wet hands or if you are standing on a damp floor.
    • Keep space heaters away from curtains, rugs and newspapers.
  • Storm Safety Precautions
    • Turn off appliances and electronics to protect them against power surges.
    • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed to preserve food as long as possible. Food in the fridge will be safe if power is out less than four hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours.
    • Never cook indoors with charcoal.
    • Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards.
    • Stay away from downed or sagging power lines. Call 911 to report hazardous conditions.
    • Consider staying at a hotel or with a relative during extended outages.
  • Portable Generators
    • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust by operating your generator outside for proper ventilation.
    • Never refuel your generator when it is running. Let it cool down first.
    • Do not store fuel in a garage, basement or inside your home. Vapors can be released that can cause illness and are a potential fire hazard.
    • Install a carbon monoxide detector inside your home to warn you in case of a gas leak.
    • Never hook up a generator directly to your home's electrical service or wiring. This can cause backfeeding and poses a serious risk to NES lineworkers.
  • Tree Debris Removal
    Our crews must work quickly to restore power to all customers. Crews may need to cut broken and uprooted trees to make repairs to our lines, but it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove tree debris caused by a storm or emergency situation.
  • Power Lines
    • Stay away from power lines and assume every wire is live.
    • Never fly a kite or model airplane near power lines.
    • Look up before moving metal ladders and scaffolding to avoid contact with lines.
    • Don’t attempt to remove tree limbs or debris from power lines. Leave it to the professionals.
    • Stay inside the car if power lines fall across your vehicle. If you are forced to abandon your car, jump clear and never touch the car and the ground at the same time.

Call Before You Dig

Not knowing the location of underground utility lines can be dangerous and costly. Call 811 before any digging job. One easy phone call to 811 starts the process to get your underground utility lines marked for free. Operators will ask for the location of your next digging job and notify the affected utility companies. Each utility will send a professional locator to mark your lines. By calling 811, you will prevent unintended consequences such as injury to you or your family, damage to your property, utility service outages to the entire neighborhood and potential fines and repair costs.

Make sure to always dig around the marks, not on them. Some utility lines may be buried at a shallow depth. Time, erosion or root structure growth may shift the locations of your utility lines, so remember to call each time you plan a digging job.