Electricity is coursing around us every day. From the power lines overhead to the cables connected to our favorite devices, we live in an electric world. Considering how often we come into contact with electricity, it makes sense that safety should be top-of-mind—
especially if you're embarking on a home improvement project.
"Each year, we receive dozens of reports of home improvement contractors accidentally putting a ladder into a power line while they are replacing siding or a homeowner coming into contact with a power line while power washing or painting their home's exterior," says Rob Locke, director of Safety and Training at Dominion Energy. "What we find in these cases is that these types of accidents are absolutely preventable and, we want to ensure that our customers know how to stay safe around electrical equipment."
Below are some tips from Dominion to insure proper electrical safety.
- Look up, down and all around for power lines before using a ladder; they may be hidden behind tree branches.
- Keep all ladders and tools in the safe zone—at least 10 feet from power lines. Make sure that if your ladder or tool were to fall, it would not contact a power line or electrical equipment.
- Remember that tree branches near power lines can conduct electricity, especially when wet. Never lean against a tree or tree branch that is near or in contact with a power line.
- Don't count on a wooden ladder to protect you—wood can still conduct electricity, especially if it's wet.
- When you're on a ladder, your balance and control are limited. Be careful if you are handling or working near pipes, conduits, gutters, antennas or other long objects.