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Delmarva Power Recognizes May as Electrical Safety Month

Monday, May 18, 2009

Springtime is the Right Time to Review Electrical Safety Practices

NEWARK , Del. – In recognition of May as National Electrical Safety Month, Delmarva Power reminds everyone that spring is the right time to review electrical safety practices.

Electric shocks kill nearly 400 people and injure thousands nationally each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Increasing electrical safety awareness, following electrical safety guidelines, and using tools and technology designed to address electrical hazards are all components of a safety program that can be used in your home, school or office. Wiring hazards are both a major cause of electrocutions and home fires, killing hundreds and injuring thousands each year. Contact with power lines and major appliances as well as the misuse of surge suppressors, power strips and extension cords also contribute to serious accidents and injuries.

“It is important to inform and educate the public, especially our young people, about the potential hazards involved when using electricity,” said Hallie Reese, Vice President, Safety and Strategic Services for Pepco Holdings, Inc, the parent company of Delmarva Power. “With the onset of spring, many people will work outdoors, trimming trees and using ladders and scaffolds,” Reese said. “It is imperative for them to know where electric wires and equipment are located and how to work safely around electricity,” she added. Reese recommends that people avoid unnecessary risks when working around electricity by calling a licensed contractor or electrician. She warns that people planning to dig safely on their property must first call 811 (the number for Miss Utility) to ensure the underground utilities are located and marked in advance of digging.

Here are some additional electrical safety tips from Delmarva Power:

  • If you see a downed wire, stay away! Call the appropriate emergency outage number below:

800-898-8042 (New Castle County, Del. and Cecil and Harford counties in Maryland)

800-898-8045 (Kent and Sussex counties in Del., and eastern shore Maryland)

  • Remind children to stay away from electric facilities such as substations, transmission towers and the green electrical metal boxes occasionally placed in front yards.
  • When carrying long or tall items, such as ladders, tree saws and pool cleaning equipment, hold them parallel to the ground. Look up before you raise them to be sure they're clear of any power lines.
  • Remember that electricity can move through conductive materials, such as water, metal, wood, aluminum, string and plastics.
  • Be careful and stay away from overhead lines when trimming trees or when working near the electrical connection to your property.

For more information on using electricity safely, visit delmarva.com.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to nearly 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 121,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .