Electricity can be extremely useful but also very dangerous. Here are a few points to keep in mind while you are inside your home.

  • Never put your finger or anything other than an electrical plug in an outlet.
  • Have any loose-fitting plugs fixed by an electrician.
  • Don’t force a plug into an outlet if it won’t fit.
  • Replace broken plates on outlets and switches so that no wiring is exposed.
  • Use safety covers on all outlets accessible to children.
  • Inspect all cords and wiring on a regular basis for broken or frayed insulation.
  • Immediately repair or replace unsafe cords.
  • Do NOT cut off ground prongs as this will eliminate the protection grounded cords provide.
  • Only use extension cords on a temporary basis, not as a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Limit the number of appliances plugged into each outlet.
  • Pay attention to avoid any situation which might cut the insulation on a cord, exposing bare wiring or causing it to overheat.

Safety Tips for Around Your Home

  • Before using an extension cord outside or in a wet area, confirm that the cord is rated for outdoor use and make sure the cord is grounded.
  • Never touch an electrical cable lying on the ground as it is virtually impossible to tell whether or not it is live, or energized. Report downed wires to GEBE immediately.
  • Do not use lightweight extension cords, intended for indoor use, outdoors. Indoor cords are not designed for use in damp areas.
  • Take care not to cut the power cord when working with electrically powered cutting tools outdoors. These include lawn mowers, hedge clippers, chain saws and trimmers.
  • Avoid damp or wet areas when using electrical power tools outdoors.
  • Exercise caution when using ladders, painting, pruning or cleaning near any overhead lines. Weatherproofing on the overhead wiring is not insulation. This covering can become brittle and cracked, exposing you to electrical contact.

How to Protect My Electronic Equipment

Small island electricity grids are subject to voltage fluctuations. You can compare this to a small boat to a large ship, you can feel any slight movement in a small boat, whereas the same movement in a large ship would be negligible.

There are a few easy steps to protect your sensitive electronic equipment and appliances from voltage fluctuations and surges.

  • Unplug sensitive electronic equipment during rainstorms, if there is lightning, and if the power goes out.
  • Properly ground your cable TV, telephone, and utility service lines.
  • Install protective devices like a surge suppressor or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect individual sensitive equipment.

Generator Safety

If you plan to use a backup generator as an emergency power supply, here are some import safety precautions from GEBE:

  • Install your generator in a well-ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly.
  • Read all instructions carefully and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Use the generator only when necessary, and don’t overload it. Turn it off at night while you sleep and when you are away from home, to avoid a possible fire hazard.

If you have any doubts about how to properly use a portable electric generator, contact the manufacturer or a licensed electrician for assistance.

Beware of Circuits

A short circuit is a type of failure in an electrical circuit caused when the hot wire (black) touches another hot wire or touches a neutral wire (white). It can also be caused if there is a break in a wire or connection.

Prevent Short Circuits

  • Never place appliance cords where they will come into contact with the stove or other heated surfaces.
  • Unplug all non-essential electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Use only correct-size fuses and breakers for circuits.

What to do when a wire short circuits?

  • Disconnect immediately if an appliance blows a fuse, trips a breaker or gives off sparks or sizzling sounds.
  • Discard the appliance or have it repaired.