Electrical Safety Tips
Electrical Safety Tips:
Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.
Always remember to:
- Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
- Don’t climb trees near power lines.
- Never fly kits, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.
- If you get something stuck in a power line, call your Touchstone Energy co-op to get it.
- Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
- Never touch or go near a downed power line.
- Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
- Keep children and pets away.
If using a space heater to take the chill off, do so safely.
Electric space heaters can help quickly warm a room. However, they can be as dangerous as convenient if used improperly.
Safe Electricity urges everyone in the home to understand the importance of using space heaters safely:
- Purchase only space heaters that have been safety tested and UL approved. Make sure the unit is equipped with an emergency tip-over shut-off feature and heating element guards. Read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for operation and care.
- Before using a space heater, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition.
- Check to make sure the heater is clean and in good condition, and have all problems professionally repaired.
- Place the heater out of high-traffic areas and on a level, hard, non-flammable floor surface—NOT on carpets, furniture or countertops.
- Space heaters have one purpose —to provide supplemental heating. Never use them to thaw pipes, cook food, or dry clothing or towels.
- Remember to keep space heaters at least three feet from combustible liquids like fuel, spray cans and paint, as well as flammable items such as draperies, blankets and sofas.
- Never allow pets or children near an electric heater. Accidental contact could result in serious shock or burns.
- Do not overload circuits. Never use extension cords or multiple plugs with a space heater, and make sure the unit is not plugged into the same circuit as other electric appliances.
- If your space heater is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and it trips, don’t assume there is something wrong with the GFCI. Immediately stop using the heater until a professional can check it— if not, a serious shock could occur.
- Never leave space heaters unattended. Turn off your space heater and unplug it before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Replace older space heaters with newer, safer models.
Many people also use electric blankets to keep warm during cold winter nights. Before plugging in electric blankets, check for any damage and inspect cord for frays, cracks or cuts. Electric blankets should not be tucked under the mattress and nothing should be placed on top of the blanket while it’s in use, including comforters and bedspreads. Pets should never be allowed to sleep on the electric blanket.
Heat Storage Unit Safety/Maintenance
You should regularly inspect and clean your electric thermal storage heater. Always shut off the power to the unit before servicing. Use a damp rag and vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust that has accumulated, giving special attention to air intake grills near the bottom of the unit. Remove grills or panels for better access, and replace them in the same position after cleaning the unit.
Also be sure to clean out all accumulated dust, dirt, cobwebs and any other debris out from the area between the storage unit and the wall. We also want to remind members of the correct charge control setting for their units. The charge control setting is handled by the charge control dial located in the upper right hand corner of each room storage-heating unit. The amount of heat, which you wish to store, depends on the outdoor temperature. (The colder the outdoor temperature, the more heat that should be stored in the unit.) The charge control dial regulates the amount of heat stored in the unit. Set the dial on setting l or ll.
Caution: Settings higher than ll are not recommended. The setting typically requires adjusting only a few times during the winter. The heat storage units give off heat in two ways. The primary method is through the wall thermostat that controls the fans in the base of the unit. When the thermostat calls for heat, the small quiet fans circulate air through the hot storage compartment, mixing in with the room air and gently blowing it into the room. Storage heaters also give off radiant heat from the warm cabinet, much like the old-fashioned hot water radiators. The temperature of the storage core determines the amount of heat given off. If the charge control is set too high, the storage core will radiate the uncontrolled heat into the room, contributing to overheating. Contact us with questions about the operation of the system, cleaning and maintenance concerns.