Electrocution can result from direct contact with
live wires or anything that has been energized by
Know where the main electric switch is in your home. It is normally
in the garage or outdoors, where the power lines
enter the home. It may be a flip switch or pull
handle on a large circuit breaker or in your fuse
box. Make sure you shut off the electricity when:
You smell burning material during a complete
The area around electrical switches or plugs
turns black and/or is hot to the touch
Burning occurs in electrical devices or
You smell burning insulation
Arcing or burning occurs in electrical
There is a fire or significant water leak
Some emergencies can cause power outages. When an
outage occurs, call your local electric company as
soon as possible to report the outage. Outage safety
Never go near a downed power line, and donít
touch anything that is touching a power line.
Keep fresh batteries in flashlights and a
portable radio. Listen for weather and power
Disconnect major appliances to avoid damage that
could occur while restoring service.
Many cordless phones require a plug-in (electric)
power source to operate. Keep a cell phone or a
basic phone (e.g. wall phone) that can operate
on power delivered through the phone line.
Only use generators that have been installed by a
qualified electrical contractor. Never plug a
generator directly into your homeís wiring
system unless an approved transfer switch is
installed by a qualified contractor.
If you have a water well and pump, keep a supply
of bottled water.
Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer. Food
will stay colder longer if the door is kept
Gas leaks can cause explosions and fires. A natural
gas leak will smell like rotten eggs.
If you smell natural gas or even suspect a gas leak, leave the
Donít stop to open windows and donít touch anything that might
create a spark, such as a light or telephone. If
possible, stay away from carpeted areas to avoid
sparks of static electricity.
Never use candles or matches if you suspect a
leak. Do not turn on electrical switches or
Donít try to find the leak yourself. Call your local gas company
from a safe area outside of the house (e.g. a
neighborís house). If someone is ill or there is an
open flame anywhere in the area, call 9-1-1
If you smell an odor of gas outside, you should leave the
area immediately and report it just as you would for
an odor inside.
In addition to property damage, water can cause
electrocution when exposed to electrical wiring. Be
sure to shut off your water when there is a severe
leak in the building.
Your inside water shutoff valve is usually
identifiable as a red or yellow wheel attached
to a riser pipe in the basement, garage, or
the water line enters the home.
To shut off your water, turn the wheel clockwise.