Liberty Utilities delivers a wide range of commodities across the country, including electricity. Although we do not deliver electricity to your community, knowing about electrical safety is an important part of keeping your business and community safe.

  • Electrical Safety for Field Work:

    Many electrical injuries could be prevented if people were alert to hazards.

    • Stay aware by keeping focused on your job and don't let emotions like anger and frustration get in the way.
    • It might take longer to keep your area clean and dry, or inspect cords for wear, but it's worth a few minutes to prevent shock or fire.
    • Before using unfamiliar equipment, study instructions and get questions answered.
    • Always use and maintain wiring, tools, and equipment correctly.Dirt and dampness increase the risk of shock. Keep your tools, work area, and storage space clean, and dry.
    • When cleaning electrical equipment, be sure it's unplugged, and follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions.
    • Before you start work, check electric cords for wear.
    • If outside or in a wet location, be sure tools and extension cords are suitable for outdoor use and circuits are equipped with GFCIs.
    • Check to be sure cords are free of oil, heat, and corrosive chemicals.Do not yank, kink or bend cords.
    • Store cords loosely coiled in a dry place.Never carry a tool by its cord.
    • Be sure a tool is switched "off" before plugging or unplugging - this protects you and the next person who uses it.
    • Watch out for energized areas when reaching into equipment.Shields, barriers, insulation and GFCIs protect you, so don't modify them just to get a job done faster.
    • Learn and follow your company's lockout/tag-out procedures.
    • If in doubt, ask a qualified electrical worker for help.
    • Uncoil an extension cord fully before use and ensure that the amperage marked on it is adequate.
    • Don't use equipment that gives off mild shocks, unusual heat, or odd smells. If in doubt, have it checked and repaired or replaced.
    • Sweep up scraps and sawdust and store flammable liquids in approved containers.
    • Don't use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dusts, or fibers are present.

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Personal protective equipment is your first line of defense against shock and electrical burns. PPE could save your life.

    • Keep boots, gloves and other gear in good condition — even a pinhole will let electricity through.
    • Wear non-conductive protection on your head, face, hands, and feet.
    • Use insulated tools or handling equipment, such as non-conductive ropes and protective shields.
    • Dirt and dampness increase the risk of shock. Keep your PPE as clean and dry as possible

    Electrical Safety for Offices

    • Use only electrical equipment that is approved by a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
    • Keep power cords dry. The insulation won't withstand direct heat, repeated yanking, bending or wetness.
    • Only pull on the plug head, never on the cord.
    • Never carry an appliance by its cord.
    • Don't run a cord under a rug or furniture. It may be damaged or overheat.
    • Don't overload outlets.
    • If you must use an extension cord temporarily, match the amperage or wattage limits marked on the cord and appliance to avoid a fire hazard.
    • Check all cords for wear. Choose double-insulated or properly grounded tools for use outdoors or in wet areas.Always use outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to protect against serious shock.

  • Overhead Powerline Safety

    Overhead power lines, which are located high off the ground for safety, have no insulation and can carry more than 500,000 volts. Substations and transformers contain "live" parts that are dangerous to contact. Underground power lines are well-insulated, but a shovel can damage them and create a shock hazard.

    Why Electricity can be Dangerous

    Electricity always seeks the shortest path to the ground. It tries to find a conductor, or something that it can pass through to get to the ground, like metal, wet wood or water. Your body is about 70 percent water, so that makes you a good conductor, too. For example, if you touch an energized bare wire or faulty appliance while your feet are touching the ground, electricity will automatically pass through you to the ground, causing a harmful or even fatal shock.

    Electric Safety Tips

    • Keep yourself, your co-workers, and vehicles at least 10 feet away from residential electric lines and equipment.
    • Stay alert.
    • Keep ladders at least 10 feet away from power lines when carrying, moving, and raising them.Keep away from wires when working with tools, pipe, lumber, or siding — all of which can conduct electricity.
    • Be careful when you install or remove an antenna or work on a roof. Electrical wires could be above or below when working on a roof.
    • Make sure the area is clear of wires before working near trees or shrubs.
    • Never attach or tie anything off to power lines or electrical equipment.
    • To further ensure your safety, consider all lines "energized" and put an effective ground on all equipment working near overhead electric lines.
  • Keep Your Business Safe

    Most electrical fires can be traced to overheated circuits and overloaded equipment. When abused, insulation may melt or burn, exposing live wires. Electrical fires can also occur when equipment is driven beyond capacity, or accumulated oil and dirt overheat a motor, or sparks ignite scraps, dirt, dust, or flammable liquids.

    Be Prepared: Fire Safety List

    Visualize your plan of response in a fire, so you can move quickly if one happens.

    Take into account:

    • The nearest multipurpose fire extinguisher and how to use it.
    • The nearest emergency exit or fire escape.
    • Your escape plan.Procedures for notifying fire fighters and other emergency personnel.
    • Train employees on how to extinguish a fire.
    • Try to exstinguish the fire only if the employees are trained and it's small or non-threatening. When in doubt, get out and take others with you.

Already a Liberty Utilities customer? Create an account and learn about your online payment options.