SVEC wants to deliver affordable, reliable and safe electricity to all of our members and their families. Please review the following safety information, and especially share it with the youngest residents of your home.

Remember: Electricity always seeks the shortest path to the ground. Don’t become part of the path!

General Indoor Safety

Electrical Cords

  • 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 become overheated.


  • Water is a good conductor of electricity – therefore, water and electricity do not mix
  • Keep appliances, especially hair dryers, away from bathtubs, puddles, sinks and wet hands
  • If you’re wet, keep away from electricity
  • We are good conductors of electricity because our bodies are made of about 70% water


  • Keep everything that will burn away from light bulbs, portable heaters, or toasters
  • Turn off heating and cooking appliances before leaving home


  • Use plug covers in outlets, if you have young children in the home

General Outdoor Safety

  • If doing work over your head outside, look up to make sure there are no power lines around that you may come into contact with
  • No one should ever be around a substation, or a pad mount transformer (green box)
  • If you are outside and hear thunder, get to shelter immediately – If unable to go inside, get in a car – If you cannot get into a car, seek low ground and sit down, making yourself as small as possible
  • If you are at the beach, or in the pool, get out of the water immediately! Seek shelter
  • When working on outdoor projects that require digging, call Miss Utility at 811 a few days before starting your job
  • Keep all equipment at least 10 feet from power lines
  • Never build a pool or spa or place a child’s pool under electrical lines
  • Don’t climb or attach items to utility poles – It is unsafe and illegal

If you see a downed power line, assume that it is live and has electricity going through it. Keep everyone away. Note the location and call SVEC at (800) 234-7832 immediately.

Generator Safety

If you have a standby generator:

  • Make sure it has a manual or automatic switch that disconnects it from main power lines
  • If not, use the main switch on your service panel to cut power
  • A generator that remains connected to main power lines can backfeed power into them, shocking utility workers

The diesel or gasoline engines that drive emergency generators exhaust carbon monoxide.

  • Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly
  • Always consult the owner’s manual regarding proper placement of the generator
  • Never install your generator inside, in a confined space, or near the air intakes to your home

More on generator safety: Generate Safely (PDF)

For Children

  • Children flying kites or climbing trees need to make sure there are no power lines around
  • Teach children to recognize “Danger – High Voltage” signs and other warnings
  • Things that say “Danger” and “Keep Out” are places they should not be
  • Why don’t birds on a power line get shocked? Because they aren’t touching the ground or any other grounded objected

If you are a teacher, contact Preston Knight at to learn more about a safety demonstration that can be presented at your school.

Safety Demonstrations

The most important aspect of electricity is safety. SVEC is pleased to present to schools and other organizations a pair of safety demonstrations.

Classroom Demonstrations

  • There is a tabletop kit that we use to go through various scenarios, showing students places where they might encounter potentially dangerous situations with electricity
  • This is usually used for classes/children fourth grade and below

Larger-Scale Events

If you would like more information about a demonstration for your group, please email SVEC.