Safety Tips


Electricity provides necessities and luxuries that add to the quality of life.
However, carelessness can result in burns, injuries, or death.

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative urges you to follow these safety rules:

  • Consider all utility lines dangerous. Keep objects such as kites, ladders, and antennas away from power lines.
  • If power lines are underground, call SouthEastern before you dig. We will locate and mark the lines.
  • Report to SouthEastern any potential power-line hazards including trees growing into the lines.
  • Never touch a person or object that is in contact with a power line. Never touch, kick, pull, or attempt to move a fallen or hanging power line. Notify us immediately and keep others away from the line until SouthEastern employees arrive.
  • When working outside, stay clear of overhead power lines or exposed wires. Before installing an antenna, make sure it cannot fall into a power line, causing power outages, injuries, and even death.
  • Check all extension and appliance cords frequently. Replace any worn or frayed cords immediately. Do not patch a broken cord.
  • When buying electrical equipment or appliances, always look for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal and make sure it applies to the entire appliance, not just the plug or cord.
  • Do not run electrical cords through doorways or under carpets. Do not drape them over radiators, pipes, or other metal objects.
  • Fly kites in open fields away from electric wires. Do not use wire, metal, or wet string on a kite. If your kite catches in a wire or on a high pole, do not try to remove it — call SouthEastern. Do not fly a kite in wet or stormy weather.
  • Never fire a gun at a security light, power line, insulator, or transformer.
  • Be sure tools and appliances are properly grounded. A three-prong plug used in a two-wire receptacle must have an adapter. Install a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) in bathrooms, kitchens, workshops, and outside outlets.
  • Do not touch an electrical switch while your hands are damp. Never handle an electrical cord or appliance while in water.
  • Handling electrical appliances improperly can cause a fire. Do not let appliance cords overheat. If they feel extremely warm discontinue use.
  • To prevent overheating, use extension cords large enough to carry the amount of current needed to operate the appliance. Use heavy-duty extension cords with portable tools and heavy-duty appliances.
  • If you have small children, childproof your home by installing plastic protective caps over electrical outlets.
  • Protect your computer and highly sensitive electronic equipment from power surges (fluctuations in voltage that may damage sensitive electronic equipment) by installing protection devices.  These range from low-cost surge suppressors (data, telephone, voltage) to uninterruptible power supplies.
  • Celebrate Christmas safely by following the general safety procedures on the use of electrical cords. Keep paper and tinsel decorations away from lights. Unplug cords when stringing lights. Remember to unplug Christmas lights before you leave home or go to bed.