People take electricity for granted, like air and water. But it is not the same at all. Itís a tremendous force moving at the speed of light that we generate and control in wires and equipment.
As long as electricity is isolated, we can use it safely. But when the force of electricity is loose, terrible accidents can happen. Knowing a few simple principles can save you from injury or death.
- You conduct electricity, just like water, metals, and materials made from hydrocarbons
- Electricity travels to the ground the easiest way it can -- donít let it travel through you.
- Electricity moves instantaneously (at the speed of light); there is no time to react.
Electricity anywhere can threaten your life but downed wires are especially dangerous. They are not insulated. If charged, the electricity can move through anything nearby.
- outlets and switches - 120 volts
- entry to homes and offices - 240 volts
- overhead distribution line - 13,200 volts per wire
- major transmission lines - 500,000 volts per wire
Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they also can be hazardous. Find tips and videos on using a generator safely.
According to the National Safety Council, every year in the U.S. there are approximately 12,000 electrical-related accidents resulting in 525 deaths. Each year 150,000 fires are attributed to electrical causes. Electrical accidents are the third leading cause of death in the workplace. At Southern Company we target zero accidents as our goal. Help us work to lessen electrical hazards and accidents by taking steps to use electricity safely.