Electricity flows through water almost as easily as it travels through the wire that brings electricity to your house. Your body is made up of 60-70 percent water, so if you touch electricity it will flow through you and you will be badly hurt.
Understanding that contact with electricity can result in serious injury or even death should inspire people to do everything possible to avoid incidental contact with it. But many don’t think twice about the potential hazards of contacting an electrical line.
May is National Electric Safety Month, a time to spread awareness about staying safe around electricity. As an energy provider, Xcel Energy takes the safety of our customers, employees and the public very seriously. Safety is our number one value. We spend many hours each year educating people about the dangers associated with activities near overhead and underground electric lines.
There are dozens of ways that you can check for electrical hazards to help prevent personal injury. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:
- ALWAYS assume that electric lines and equipment are energized, even when overhead lines are lying on the ground and/or equipment is damaged.
- Before working outside, always look up and all around for overhead electric lines.
- Keep yourself and any tool you’re using at least 10 feet away from overhead electric lines and carry all tools horizontally, especially ladders.
- If a fallen power line is resting on or near your vehicle, stay in the vehicle until first responders clear the scene.
- NEVER swim in or near marinas, docks, boatyards, or anywhere electricity is provided near water, as the electrical current could cause electric shock drowning.
- Don’t overload your home’s electrical circuits and know the warning signsto watch for.
- ALWAYS call 811 before you dig to learn where utility-owned lines and equipment are buried so you can safely dig around them.
- Call 911 first in an emergency, then Xcel Energy at 1.800.895.1999.
Learn more at xcelenergy.com/safety.