Electricity always seeks the shortest path to the ground and looks for a good conductor, such as metal, that transmits it easily. The human body is also a good conductor because it is about 70% water. If you touch anything with a live current, a bare wire or faulty connection, electricity will pass through you to the ground. Depending on the strength of the current, the electricity could seriously injure or fatally shock you.
Power and Electricity Safety Tips
- Downed power lines: Always assume downed power lines are “live” and stay away. Do not attempt to remove anything in contact with a downed power line or drive across a downed power line.
- Vehicle safety: If your vehicle or tractor comes in contact with a downed power line, stay inside and use your cell phone to call for help.
- Personal contact: If someone is shocked by contact with a downed line, call 911 immediately and do not touch the person.
- Metal ladders: Never use a metal ladder when working anywhere near power lines or electrical devices. When using a wooden or fiberglass ladder, keep clear of electric lines.
- Small appliances and electric devices: Always keep small appliances away from water, including sinks, baths, pools, etc. Never attempt to touch these appliances when your hands are wet.
- Outlets and cords: Do not overload outlets or lay power cords under rugs or carpets. Never splice or tape power cords.
- Flying kites: Teach children to never fly kites, model airplanes or balloons near overhead power lines.
- Climbing trees: Warn children to never climb a tree that is near power lines. If the wind or child’s weight causes a limb to touch a wire, there is danger of electrocution to anyone in or near the tree.
- Transformer boxes: Do not let children play on or near transformer boxes, or put anything in them. If you see an unlocked transformer box, please contact MVEC.
Featured video: Slow Down, Move Over! (length 1:03)
Minnesota’s Move Over law was amended in 2018 to include utility workers and their vehicles. Learn why this law is important for our employees in the field.
Electrical Safety Websites
- Make the Safe Choice Test your ability to handle electrical hazards in your home. Learn how to stay safe around electrical situations.
- Find the Hidden Dangers Dangerous electrical situations are happening in neighborhoods every day. Learn why the situation is dangerous and how to react safely.
- The Shock Blocker Game Use electricity safely every day. Electricity is safely conducted through the power cord to a machine, then back through the cord to the outlet and out to the wires. Learn how to prevent electric shock.
- Members dependent on life support equipment
- Power’s Out – Now What?
- Frequently-asked storm restoration questions
- Safety Tips
- Tree Trimming
- Call Before You Dig
- Free electric safety presentation