Safety Tips

  • Don’t overload outlets in your home or business. An overloaded outlet is a fire hazard. If you have overloaded outlets, consider having a qualified electrician install additional circuits.
  • Keep the holidays happy and safe. Always turn off any holiday lights before leaving home. Keep trees, boxes, and wrapping paper away from heat sources.
  • GFCIs can save your life! Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) cut power in time to prevent serious shock. Use in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and outside. Always follow the National Electric Code when wiring your home and buildings.
  • Backup Generators are great to use during a storm when power has been interrupted. Never operate a generator to supply power to your home without a properly installed transfer switch to isolate your home wiring from Barton County Electric Cooperative’s (BCEC’s) main power lines.
  • Power outages will happen from time to time. Flashlights, battery-powered radio, fresh batteries, bottled water, canned and dried foods, blankets, manual can opener, first aid supplies, and any other item you feel you may need should be kept in a handy place.
  • Keep little hands out of trouble and harm by placing safety covers on all electrical outlets that are within reach of children. BCEC will provide these covers to you upon request.
  • Kitchen appliances should always be unplugged before cleaning. Even if turned off, it can shock you. Never remove burnt toast from a toaster unless it is unplugged.
  • Water and electricity do not mix, in bathrooms keep hairdryers, curling irons, electric razors, electric toothbrushes and other appliances away from water and always use GFCI outlets.
  • Extension cords are for temporary use only. Never put them under rugs or furniture as they can overheat or become damaged causing a fire hazard.
  • Frayed cords are dangerous, if the insulation on a cord becomes frayed or worn have a qualified repairman repair or replace the cord before using.
  • Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are important to keep on hand. Be sure to check the batteries in smoke detectors regularly. Keep all flammable items far away from light bulbs, heaters, or toasters. Be sure you have a fire escape plan for your family in case of a fire.
  • Power tools should be suitable for outdoor use when selected. They should be double insulated or have three-way grounded plugs. Keep power tool cords where they can’t be cut.
  • Kites and balloons are fun to play with but if they contact power lines they can cause shock or fire, so keep them away from overhead power lines. Keep metallic balloons indoors.
  • Tree safety around power lines is critical. Contact BCEC before trimming trees near any overhead power lines. Don’t let children climb in trees near power lines.
  • Call before you dig. If you hit an underground power line you could be fatally injured. Before digging or moving dirt in any way call for us to locate any underground lines.
  • Stay in your vehicle for rescuers if you have made contact with a power pole. If you must leave due to hazards, jump clear of fallen lines. Don’t touch your vehicle and the ground at the same time, land with feet together, and shuffle a safe distance away.
  • Lightning can be very dangerous if you are caught in a storm. Avoid trees and bodies of water. Find shelter in a vehicle or building.
  • Pad-mounted transformers are used in underground applications. Never pry open or dig near one. If you find one unlocked, keep away and call BCEC immediately.
  • GFCIs cut power in time to prevent serious shock. GFCIs protection is required for outdoor areas, crawl spaces, and garages. Portable GFCIs are also available. Always follow the National Electric Code when wiring your home and buildings.
  • High-voltage towers and poles carry very high voltage. Never touch or climb on these.
  • Fallen power lines are very dangerous. Never touch or assume a line is not hot even if it is not sparking. Stay far away and call BCEC immediately.
  • Substations have very high voltage inside the fences. Do not touch or climb on the fence. Never try to retrieve a ball or toy if it goes inside the fenced area. Call BCEC and we will retrieve your ball or toy.