Play it Safe with Electricity

Electricity is safe and convenient when used correctly. Discussing these safety tips with your family will help to avoid electrical hazards.

  • Fly kites and model airplanes in wide open spaces. If a kite string that is damp or has metal in it comes into contact with overhead power lines, you could be seriously injured because the kite will conduct electricity down through the string to you.
  • If you discover someone being shocked, do not touch the person or you will receive an electric shock, too. Go to the circuit breaker box and turn the main switch off (all family members should know where the circuit breaker box is located.) Once you have turned the power off, immediately call 911.
  • Call 79-POWER [(916) 797-6937] if you see a downed wire or other possible hazard. Don't try to fix it yourself.
  • Look up! Watch for overhead power lines, including service drops to the house, when using ladders, poles, pipes and antennas. Be especially aware of these dangers when playing or working around trees near overhead lines, poles with wires, fences around substations and transformers on the ground.
    Remember to keep all metallic balloons or balloons with metallic string indoors. These balloons can be dangerous if they come in contact with power lines. They can also cause power outages if released outside.
  • Always use electrical appliances in dry areas. Electrical appliances in the bathroom should be unplugged when not in use. Operate them with dray hands away from water. Also, keep appliances away from swimming pools and out of the rain.
  • Stay clear of any area with "high voltage" or "warning-keep out" signs. These signs are put in place for your protection to let you know it is unsafe to be there. If children lose a ball in a restricted substation area, an electric department employee will be happy to retrieve it. Just call 79-POWER [(916) 797-6937] or email
  • Never put objects into a plugged-in appliance or outlets. Safety caps are recommended to keep small, curious children away from electrical outlets.
  • Don't tamper with electric meters. Besides being illegal, tampering with an electric meter can cause a direct short circuit leading to electric shock, explosion, fire or shattering glass.