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April 11,  2002

With Warm Weather on the Way, ComEd Offers Safety Tips to Homeowners Planning Spring Cleaning

(SafetyAlerts) - As homeowners prepare to spruce up their homes, gardens and yards in anticipation of warm weather, ComEd officials stress that safety should be their number one priority, especially while working near electrical equipment and wires.

Homeowners are seven times more likely to be injured at home than at work, according to the National Safety Council. Electrical accidents can lead to serious injury or death.

"If you are considering any home improvement repairs such as roof work, landscaping or building a patio, following a few simple precautions can help you avoid a painful and costly accident," said John Boyle, ComEd Director of Safety. "For example, it is critical that you stay clear of the service cable that supplies power to your home. If you are going to dig, call the appropriate locator service for the location and voltage of underground electrical cables.

"When it comes to any electrical work inside your home or working near power lines or underground cable, the smartest thing to do is to hire a licensed professional," said Boyle. "You may not be able to distinguish between a phone line, cable line or power line or know the proper safety precautions. So, it is always best to leave this type of work to the pros."

Boyle also recommends that if homeowners are tackling spring cleaning inside their home, use the opportunity to conduct a safety inspection to check for electrical problems inside their home.

Here are a few simple safety tips that homeowners should follow while working inside and outside of the home. For more information on electric safety, visit .

Safeguarding the Interior of Your Home Conducting An Electrical Inspection
-- Check outlets and extension cords to make sure they aren't overloaded.
-- Examine electrical cords to make sure they aren't frayed, damaged or placed under rugs or carpets.
-- Make sure that the proper wattage light bulbs are being used in light fixtures and lamps.
-- Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in wet locations such as bathrooms or outdoors.
-- An older home may be inadequately wired for today's electrical consumption, putting your family at risk for fire and electrical shock. Replace worn and outdated circuitry and add enough outlets for appliances and electronics. Hire a licensed professional to do the work.
-- Test your smoke detector batteries annually.

Use Electrical Tools Wisely
-- Inspect your electrical tools on a regular basis, including the large tools such as table saws, drill presses and bench grinders.
-- Never use electrical tools in the rain or in wet areas.
-- Use three-pronged outlets and plugs.
-- Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment for the tool in use. Refer to the owner's manual for recommended protective equipment.

Working Safety Outdoors
Don't Let Ladders Be Your Downfall
-- Call a licensed professional if your home repairs require work near power lines.
-- Always make sure the ladder is free of defects.
-- Metal ladders should never be used near electrical power sources.
Metal conducts electricity and could lead to electrocution.

Check Before You Dig
-- It is always best to hire a licensed professional for work that may require digging near underground electrical equipment.
-- If you choose to conduct work yourself, avoid underground cables andoverhead lines when doing construction and landscaping at home.
-- Call J.U.L.I. at 1.800.892.0123 (suburbs) or the Chicago Utility Alert Network, Digger, at 1.312.744.7000 for the location and voltage
of underground electrical cables before you dig.
-- Locator services are not always 100 percent precise. You should alsotake safety precautions.

Source: PRNewswire

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.