April 11, 2002
With Warm Weather on the Way, ComEd
Offers Safety Tips to Homeowners Planning Spring Cleaning
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
"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 http://www.safeelectricity.org/ .
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Replace worn and outdated circuitry and add enough outlets for appliances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
-- 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