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May is National Electrical Safety Month

Pepco Asks Everyone to Review Electrical Safety Practices

WASHINGTON , D.C. - May is National Electrical Safety Month and Pepco is reminding everyone to review home, school and workplace electrical safety practices.

Electric shocks kill nearly 400 people and injure thousands nationally each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI.org). Increasing electrical safety awareness, following electrical safety guidelines, and using tools and technology designed to address electrical hazards are all components of a safety program for use in your home, school or office. Wiring hazards are both a major cause of electrocutions and home fires, killing hundreds and injuring thousands each year. Contact with power lines and major appliances as well as the misuse of surge suppressors, power strips and extension cords also contribute to serious accidents and injuries.

"It is important to inform and educate the public, especially our young people and the elderly, about the potential hazards involved when using electricity," said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region. "With the onset of spring, many people will work outdoors, trimming trees and using ladders and scaffolds," Graham said. "It is imperative for them to know where electric wires and equipment are located and how to work safely around electricity," Graham added. Pepco recommends avoiding unnecessary risks when working around electricity by calling a licensed contractor or electrician.

Know what's below. Call before you dig. Homeowners must call 8-1-1 a few days prior to digging to ensure underground utilities are located and marked. This will help avoid injuries and equipment damage. Visit www.Call811.com for more information.

Here are some additional electrical safety tips from Pepco:

  • If you see a downed wire, stay away! Call Pepco's emergency outage number: 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662)
  • Remind children to stay away from electric facilities such as substations, transmission towers and green electrical metal boxes that are commonly found in neighborhoods.
  • 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 to be sure they're clear of any utility lines. (The word "utility" would cover electric, cable and phone lines).
  • Remember that electricity can move through conductive materials, such as water, metal, wood, aluminum, string and plastics.
  • Be careful to stay away from overhead lines when trimming trees or when working near your property's electrical connection.

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 778,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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