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May is Electrical Safety Month; Pepco urges customers to be safe around electricity

May is National Electrical Safety Month and Pepco reminds the public that electric safety should be practiced every day of the year.

Electric shocks kill nearly 400 people nationally and injure thousands more each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

          "We need  to be more pro-active in educating everyone, especially children, to potential hazards involved when using electricity or working around it." said Bill Smith, senior safety coordinator for Pepco.
 
           "As we enjoy longer spring days, much of our daily activity moves outdoors." Smith noted. "The use of extension cords for tree trimming and lawn mowing as well as where other electrical wires are located are just examples of why it is vital to keep safety in mind."

           Smith recommended that people avoid unnecessary risks when working around electricity by calling a licensed contractor or electrician.

           Before digging, to plant trees, for example, residents need to call Miss Utility at its new number, 811, to have the underground utilities located and marked in advance to prevent possible injury from cutting into lines.
  
           Here are some additional electrical safety tips from Pepco:

• If you see a downed wire, stay away and call Pepco's emergency outage number at 1- 877-PEPCO-62.

• Remind children to stay away from electric facilities such as substations, transmission towers and pad-mounted transformers.

• When carrying long or tall items, such as ladders, tree saws and pool cleaning equipment, hold them parallel to the ground. Look up before you raise them into the air to be sure they're clear of any power lines.

• Remember that electricity can move through conductive materials, such as water, metal, wood, aluminum, string and plastics.

• Stay away from overhead lines.  Be watchful when trimming trees or working near the electrical connection to your property.

           For more information on using electricity safely, visit www.pepco.com

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Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 745,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.



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