Electrical Safety

Lineman working on power poleAt Mohave Electric, we believe that in a culture of safety, information is a powerful tool, and electricity and safety should go hand in hand.

With the same commitment that we ensure our employees are educated and practicing safety at all times, we strive to inform our members of all ages about electric safety in their homes, at work, at school, and at play.

Electricity is a convenience in our modern lives but many people take it for granted. Education, awareness, and a basic knowledge of electrical safety practices can help keep your family and home safe from electrical hazards. It is the key to preventing unnecessary accidents and fires.

Regular maintenance and safety checks around your home like testing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) outlets and smoke alarms, vacuuming coils, and changing furnace or air conditioning filters should be done regularly. These are easy things to do but are crucial for the safety of you and your family.

Safety Matters

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)

(ESFI) is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace. Each May, ESFI sponsors National Electrical Safety Month to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us. Visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International website for important information and tips on how to keep you and your family safe in the home, workplace, and at play.

Fire Prevention and Life Safety Fair

In October, Mohave Electric participates in the Bullhead City Fire Department’s Fire Prevention and Life Safety Fair providing educational material to children and adults alike. It’s never too early to begin teaching children about being safe around electricity. ESFI provides videos and interactive games to teach children about electricity and encourage electrical safety practices among children and their families to help develop life-long safe habits.

Home Safety Checklist
  • Electric outlets are not overloaded with lots of plugs.
  • Electric cords are in good condition.
  • Electric cords do not run under rugs or furniture legs or near hot appliances.
  • Electric appliances are used away from water.
  • People carry appliances by the handle, not the cord.
  • A multipurpose fire extinguisher is kept in the house.
  • All danger and warning signs are read and carefully followed.
  • Electric appliances that get hot such as heaters, toasters, and lightbulbs are kept away from things that can burn.
  • Safety caps are inserted in outlets when small children are around.
  • Small appliances are turned off and/or unplugged when people leave home.
  • Extension cords, lights, and/or appliances used outdoors are labeled for outdoor use.
Home Electrical Fire Prevention Fact Sheet

Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 2,620 Americans each year and injure 11,070 more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures and appliance defects, but many more are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like consumers to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from electrical fires.

The problem: During a typical year, home electrical problems account for 9% in fires and 16% in deaths. Home electrical wiring causes twice as many fires as electrical appliances.

The facts: December is the most dangerous month for electrical fires. Fire deaths are highest in winter months which call for more indoor activities and an increase in lighting, heating, and appliance use. Most electrical wiring fires start in the bedroom.

The cause:

Electrical Wiring

  • Most electrical fires result from problems with fixed wiring such as faulty electrical outlets and
    old wiring. Problems with cords and plugs, such as extension and appliance cords, also cause
    many home electrical fires.
  • In urban areas, faulty wiring accounts for 33% of residential electrical fires.
  • Many avoidable electrical fires can be traced to misuse of electric cords, such as overloading
    circuits, poor maintenance, and running the cords under rugs or in high traffic areas.

Home Appliances

  • The home appliances most often involved in electrical fires are electric stoves and ovens, dryers, central heating units, space heaters, televisions, radios, and audio equipment.

Safety Precautions

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely and don’t overload them.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical
    appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • When buying electrical appliances look for products which meet the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) standard for safety.
  • Don’t allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons, and hair dryers.
  • Keep clothes, curtains and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Never overload extension cords or wall sockets. Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker. Use safety closures to childproof electrical outlets.
  • Check your electrical tools regularly for signs of wear. If the cords are frayed or cracked, replace them. Replace any tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out or gives off smoke or sparks.

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.

Downed Power Line

A downed power line may not be a dead line. It could cause serious injury or death.

Safety Tips:

  • Assume all power lines are energized and dangerous. Even lines that are de-energized could become energized at any time.
  • Never touch a downed power line. And never touch a person or object that is touching a power line.
  • If someone is injured as a result of contact with electric current, do not try to assist. You could be injured or killed. Call 911.
  • If a power line falls across your vehicle while you are in it, stay inside until help arrives.
  • Call 911 immediately to report a downed power line. Then call Mohave Electric Cooperative at (928) 763-1100.

For more information, videos, and safety information on how to be safe around electricity, visit the Safe Electricity website.