May days, not maydays

Your spring safety and maintenance checklist

May is National Electrical Safety Month and an excellent time to get a fresh start by tackling projects at home. Review our checklist to learn a few tips to stay safe inside and out, but remember to always use your electronics as directed and stay aware of electric equipment and other potential hazards.

Graphic of woman cooking in kitchen


Check the condition of your small appliances. Make sure things like coffee makers and microwaves are in good operating condition with cords that are not damaged. Anything that may be exposed to liquid should be plugged into a GFCI outlet.

Have a certified HVAC technician perform maintenance on your system. Annual service ensures your HVAC runs efficiently and is prepared to work hard through the summer. Inefficient units can run up your electric bill.

Clean your dryer vent. A dirty dryer vent is a serious fire risk! Clogged vents can also reduce your dryer’s efficiency, using more energy and raising your bill.

Mind your batteries. The lithium-ion batteries in everything from electric bikes to robot vacuums and cell phones can be a fire risk if not handled properly. Keep batteries and devices at room temperature, and never place them in direct sunlight. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage. If a battery overheats, emits an odor, changes shape or color, or leaks, stop using it immediately.

Graphic of man with shovel digging in yard


Check your power tools. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect your tools before and after each use, keep them clean, and store them in a dry place. Never use electric tools in wet areas, especially around puddles.

Trim your trees responsibly. Falling tree limbs are a common cause of outages, but never trim within 10 feet of power lines yourself! Instead, request free service for those trees online at or call us at 888-554-4732, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A service order will be issued, and we’ll contact you to schedule a crew to clear the vegetation to a safe distance.

Watch for overhead lines. Keep ladders and other outdoor equipment a safe distance from power lines. Contact with power lines is very dangerous. Mylar balloons also cause thousands of power outages nationwide every year; take care to ensure they do not get released into the air. And remember, never fly kites or drones near power lines.

Call 811 before you dig. Underground power lines and other utilities could be buried anywhere. Dial 811 or make a request online at two business days before any digging project. It’s the law, and it could save your life!

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