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For Immediate Release

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May is Electrical Safety Month

For Immediate Release
May 24, 2005

 

People who work with electricity are acutely aware of the need for safety at all times, but the general public may not have that same level of awareness. That is the impetus behind May being Electrical Safety Month.

 

Pepco reminds customers to be aware of the hazards associated with electricity and urges them to use the greatest care and safety when working with or near electricity.

 

"Contact with electricity can cause serious injury or death and, in most cases, such incidents are preventable," said Bob Brielmaier, Safety Manager for Pepco.

 

When trimming trees or working on your home, we all need to know where the electric wires and equipment are and how we can work safely around them. Don't take unnecessary risks. If necessary, call a licensed contractor or electrician. If you are planning to dig, notify your local one-call center in advance to make sure the underground utilities are located and marked in advance so you can dig safely.

 

The number for Miss Utility in Maryland and the District of Columbia is 1-800-265-7177. Anyone working near overhead high-voltage power lines is required by law to call the owner of the lines before starting work. For Pepco, call 202-833-7500.

 

Here are some other important electrical safety tips to follow:

  • Teach children to stay away from such electric facilities as substations, transmission towers and transformers.
  • When carrying long or tall items, such as ladders, tree saws and pool cleaning equipment, hold them parallel to the ground. Before you raise them into the air, look up to be sure they`re clear of any power lines.
  • Remember that electricity can move through conductive materials, i.e., water, metal, wood, aluminum, string and plastics.
  • Stay away from overhead lines. Power lines are covered with a protective coating only for protection against damage from adverse weather conditions - if you touch a power line, you could be seriously injured or killed.                
  • Call Pepco if kites or kite strings get caught in power lines. Do not attempt to remove them, as they conduct electricity.

  • Put childproof covers on all outlets that children or pets can reach.
  • Any outlets located outdoors, or in moisture-containing areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement or garage, should have ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to lessen the possibility of shock or circuit overload. Test GFCIs on a regular basis.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from wet areas and bathtubs, sinks and hot tubs. Unplug appliances if they are not in use.
  • Don`t remove the grounding prong of a three-pronged plug; use an appropriate adapter for a two-prong outlet.
  • Check extension cords for wear and tear and replace any that are cut or frayed. Use extension cords that are rated for the type of work you will be doing. (You can rub extension cords with a bar of soap to prevent pets from chewing on them.)

  • Keep electrical cords away from sharp objects, and never run them under carpets or around furniture legs.
  • When replacing blown fuses, use only those rated for your circuit`s capacity.

Electrical safety is important throughout the year. "May is National Electrical Safety Month, but the focus on electrical safety should continue year-round," says Michael G. Clendenin, Executive Director of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the organization behind the program.

 

ESFI, founded in 1994, is a non-profit organization devoted exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school and workplace. In addition to sponsoring Electrical Safety Month every May, ESFI engages in public education campaigns.

 

To find out how to obtain an Electrical Safety Campaign Kit, go to www.nesf.org. The kit also provides information on the top electrical safety hazards, including facts, figures and tips to help reduce risk.

 

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Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers electricity to more than 725,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George's counties, Maryland.

 

Point of Contact:
Debbi Jarvis

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