Appliance Safety

Tips For Avoiding Accidental Injury or Property Damage

Woman holding folded launcdry

  • Check appliance cords and extension cords for frays, broken plugs or damaged wires. They can cause electrical shocks or fires.
  • If an electric appliance falls into the water, unplug it before you retrieve it, even if it is in the "off" position.
  • Disconnect all appliances by pulling the plug directly from the socket. Do not pull on the appliance cord. You could damage it!
  • Don't overload electric outlets.
  • Make sure appliance cords do not come in contact with hot surfaces.
  • Unplug all electric appliances before you work on them. Even when replacing a light bulb, it's best to unplug the lamp or turn the power off to the light fixture.

Extension Cord Safety

Do's and Don'ts of Extension Cords

  • Use an extension cord only as a temporary connection.
  • When using extension cords outdoors, make sure they are labeled for outdoor use.
  • Install GFCI receptacles where cords will be used outdoors.
  • Use a heavy-duty, grounded, three-pronged cord when working with power tools.
  • Replace extension cords with worn or cracked insulation.
  • Don't run extension cords across foot traffic areas or near water.
  • Don't place furniture or other heavy objects on top of extension cords.
  • Don't overload extension cords - be particularly careful about plugging multiple appliances into a single extension cord.

Is Your Wiring Safe?

Know if your home's electrical system is properly wired.

How do you know if your home's electrical system is properly wired or in need of repairs or upgrades? Here are five key indicators to remember:


  • Whenever you turn on an appliance, such as a dishwasher, clothes washer or dryer, the lights in your home dim.
  • You frequently have problems with fuses blowing or circuit breakers tripping off.
  • Appliances that should heat up, such as toasters and irons, don't get as hot as they should or take longer to heat up.
  • Your television picture shrinks when other lights or appliances come on.
  • Lights brighten in part of the house when other lights or appliances come on.
If any of these problems plague your home, call in a licensed electrician quickly. Old, inadequate wiring, overloaded circuits and other problems aren't just inconvenient, they're dangerous. So play it safe, and hire a qualified, professional electrician for rewiring your home, adding circuits or upgrading your electrical systems.

Protect Your Linemen

Don't Attach Signs or Other Objects to Power Poles!

Electric pole with many items attachedSumter EMC's linemen are well trained and very dedicated men who take tremendous pride in serving you. You can help protect your linemen by not turning our utility poles into obstacle courses with tacks, nails and staples from posted signs, posters, notices or mounted recreational equipment. Tacks, nails and staples driven into Sumter EMC's utility poles can puncture the linemen's rubber safety gloves and leave them vulnerable to electrocution. Linemen whose climbing hooks hit a nail instead of sinking securely into wood may fall from the pole and sustain serious injuries. Remember, anytime a lineman must unfasten his safety harness in order to climb above an obstacle on a utility pole, he's working without a net! Also, when linemen have to remove objects from poles in order to climb them during an outage, it takes much longer to restore your power.

Sumter EMC's linemen climb the poles in all weather conditions and at all hours of the day or night to maintain and repair the equipment that brings you safe, reliable electric power. These dedicated men face enough danger in their efforts to keep your electric power on. Please do your part to help them eliminate additional hazards by not posting signs, posters and notices or mounting recreational equipment on our utility poles.

Outdoor Safety

Tips to avoid injury when enjoying the great outdoors

Downed power lines

  • Never touch fallen power lines. They may be energized or become energized at any time.
  • Be sure all outdoor fixtures and light bulbs are waterproof and suitable for exterior use. 
  • Outdoor wiring should be on a separate circuit, properly grounded and protected against moisture.
  • Always wear shoes when using any electrical appliance outdoors. But remember, rubber-soled shoes have materials in them that can conduct electricity. They may not protect you from electrical shock.
  • Never put up TV or other antennas where they can contact or fall across electrical lines. Be extra cautious if you are installing the antenna yourself. If you lose control of an antenna and it begins to fall, let it go and jump clear.

Sumter EMC will provide assistance to consumers wishing to install or remove a radio or television antenna when the antenna is in close proximity to an uninsulated power line.

Hot Weather Safety

Following these simple safety tips can help you beat the summer heat:

Woman and children in pool

  • Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
  • Wear a hat and sun block to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation much harder for your body.
  • Put less fuel in your body. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool, so drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
  • Spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings greatly reduces the danger from the heat. If you don't have air conditioning in your home, visit Sumter EMC's appliance center and select the perfect window air conditioning unit to help you beat the heat this summer.