Electrical Safety

Parker River Community Preschool, Rowley

Parker River Community Preschool

Be Safe—Stay Alive with Safety Tips from the RMLP

Electricity's an incredible convenience in our lives. It makes so many things possible—from your smartphone to cooking your food and lighting your home. Follow the rules—and electricity's safe. Don't...and you're asking for trouble.

Electrical Safety in an Emergency

Electrical accidents can cause serious injuries, or even death. Our crews have the necessary training, equipment and knowledge to deal with the situation safely.

If you see a downed power line, contact Rowley Municipal Lighting Plant immediately at (978) 948-3992. Outside of Business Hours and on Holidays, Dial 911 or Rowley Police at (978) 948-7644.

Do not touch the person if she or he is still in contact with the source of electricity (the electricity will travel from their body into yours!).

If there is a downed power line, keep people at least 30 feet away.

Ask someone to call an ambulance and the RMLP while you stay with the victim.

If the victim has no pulse, perform CPR.

If the victim has been burned, avoid touching those areas or any burned clothing. You may gently apply cold water to burned areas until professional help arrives.

If you’re involved in an accident where poles or wires are knocked down on a vehicle, it’s important to know what to do. Remain calm, stay in your vehicle, and wait until help arrives. The surrounding ground may become energized, so don’t rush toward a vehicle to try to help, or you could end up in trouble too. If you must exit, jump clear of the vehicle with both feet landing on the ground together. Once you’re out of the vehicle, DO NOT take steps or touch the vehicle. Shuffle your feet keeping both on the ground at all times.

Do not touch someone that is being shocked. Call 911 and wait until the RMLP can turn off and isolate the power.

Make sure to stay at least 30 feet away from a downed power line. Watch out for conductive materials like fences. Try to secure the area by staying at least 30 feet away until Rowley Municipal Lighting Plant crews can get there.

Outage Preparations

It's always best to be prepared. Knowing what to do in the event of a power outage can help reduce the inconvenience associated with lack of electrical power—and stay safe.

Preparing Your Home

Put matches, candles, flashlights and batteries where they can easily be found in the dark. Do not leave candles unattended, especially around young children or pets. It is also a good idea to store water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit and a battery-operated radio where everyone in your home can find them. Post emergency and utility phone numbers in a convenient location where they can be easily accessed.

Waiting for the Power

During any outage, turn off all circuit breakers or any lights, all major appliances and, if you have electric heat, lower the setting. By reducing the amount of power we have to restore, you’re helping to avoid an overload outage caused by the initial burst of power required to get all those lights and appliances going again - particularly if the outage is extensive. Leave one light on so you will know when power has been restored.

When Power Resumes

It is a good idea to wait 10 to 15 minutes after the power has been restored before turning everything back on. This gives the electrical system a chance to stabilize. This is particularly critical in the winter.

Protect Your Perishables

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold. If the doors are continuously opened and closed, it will allow the cold air to escape and be replaced with warmer air. Generally a freezer that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours.

Protect Your Appliances

Electronic devices are sensitive to voltage surges. The RMLP makes every effort to ensure protection from potential damage caused by power outages or fluctuations by installing protection devices on our distribution system. Unfortunately, there are occurrences beyond our control (lightning strikes and vehicles colliding with power poles) that can result in voltage surges and therefore damage to your electronic equipment. A few simple precautionary measures are listed below to help ensure your equipment is protected during an outage:

  • Unplug all electronic equipment and appliances like TVs, DVD Players, VCRs, computers and stereo equipment
  • Turn off your washer, dryer, oven, microwave and dishwasher
  • Turn your heating thermostat to the lowest setting or switch it off

Additional Tips

  • Never touch a circuit breaker or fuse with wet hands or while standing on a wet or damp floor.
  • If you use a computer, keep your files backed up on a regular basis. Turn off all computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners and other devices when they are not being used. This way, if the power goes out, this equipment will have already been safely shut down.
  • Purchase a surge protector for all of your computer and electrical equipment. If you use the computer a lot, such as for a home business, consider purchasing and installing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
  • If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the manual release lever and learn how to operate it. Make sure you can lift the door using the manual lever and do this while someone else is around.
  • If you have a home-based business that relies on a telephone system that requires electricity such as a cordless phone, fax machine or voicemail, try to plan for alternate methods of communication. This could mean having a standard telephone handset or fully-charged cell phone.
  • Keep your vehicle's fuel tank at least half full, because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps and if you need to travel to a friend's or family member's home to stay, you will not be able to obtain fuel.
  • If possible, put your sensitive electronic equipment on a dedicated circuit. If you cannot arrange a dedicated circuit, avoid plugging sensitive items into the same circuit as devices like air conditioners or power tools - they draw power strongly and disturb the flow of electricity.
  • Make sure you have a good grounding system for your home (check with your electrician). Use three-pronged plugs for equipment that requires them. Never remove the grounding pin from the plug.
  • Purchase surge protection for your sensitive equipment. It provides protection against potential over-voltage, up to the design limits of the device. It will not, however, provide complete protection against extensive over-voltages, such as spikes caused by lightning. When buying surge protection, make sure it has three-mode protection: Line-Line, Line-Neutral and Neutral Ground.
  • Have your wiring checked by a qualified electrician. For certain applications, the use of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is recommended. These units supply power from batteries when they sense power failing. The more sophisticated the UPS, the more types of electrical problems they can handle.

Here are even more tips to help keep you and your family safe.


DigSafe 811 logo

Call before you dig! CALL DIGSAFE BY DIALING 811. It's the law.

Homeowners and even some contractors can make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked. But every digging job requires a call—even small projects like planting trees and shrubs.

The depth of utility lines varies. And there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. Call 72 hours in advance of digging and a DigSafe representative will send out someone to mark underground facilities.


Click here for more about DigSafe procedures.


OSHA logo

OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration offers great safety tips and a lot of expertise in the field.

Electrical hazards and carelessness can cause burns, shocks and electrocution.

Click here for more.


ESFi logo

The Electrical Safety Foundation Institute has a great corner of their website called "Kids' Corner". It's loaded with interactive lessons, activities and videos aimed at keeping your children safe.

Share it with your family here.

Stay safe, healthy and alive!

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