National safety month tips to keep your family safe

By Glenn Brown

As your local energy partner, and in honor of National Electrical Safety Month in May, Roanoke Electric Co-op is encouraging member-owners to take time this month to talk to your family about safe electricity practices. You can start by taking note of these practical recommendations:


  • Never put anything other than an electrical plug in an outlet. Use outlet covers to protect children.
  • Examine electrical cords often for fraying or cracking and throw away any worn cords.
  • Extension cords are for temporary use. They are not intended for use as permanent home wiring.
  • Don’t run cords under carpets or rugs.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets should be used in any area where water and electricity could mix, including kitchens, bathrooms, garages and outdoors, and should be tested monthly.
  • Never touch electrical appliances with wet hands or use them near sinks, tubs, toilets or showers.
  • Don’t use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliances. All major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall outlet.


  • Never go near or drive over a power line. If you encounter a downed line, stay far away and notify the co-op by calling 252-209-2236.
  • Keep kites, model airplanes and metallic balloons away from power lines.
  • Watch for overhead lines when using a ladder, working on a roof or carrying a long tool.
  • Call 811 before any digging project.
  • If it is necessary to use a portable generator, always operate the generator in an open area outdoors. Use an extension cord to connect the generator directly to the appliance and ensure the extension cord has three-prongs and is rated in compliance with the appliance. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring unless the work is completed by a licensed electrician. This prevents back feeding, which could electrocute utility workers.

- Glenn Brown is Roanoke Electric Co-op’s safety coordinator. For more safety tips and information, visit and the Electrical Safety Foundation International at