Electrical Safety

Safety Presentations

Safety is our first priority at Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA). We provide, at no cost, safety demonstrations to schools and local organizations to raise awareness of the dangers of electricity.

Visit our Safety Demonstrations page for more information.


Each year, hundreds of people are electrocuted in their home or yard. On its journey to the ground, electricity looks for the quickest path and travels through conductors.

Good conductors include water, metals, and people.

Human beings are good conductors simply because about 70% of the body is composed of water.

When electricity travels through the body, it can overload the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Electric burns can cause serious injury or death.

How Does the Electricity in My Home Work?

Electricity enters your home through a service entrance from a series of outdoor power lines or an underground connection.

A typical service entrance consists of two 120-volt wires and 1 neutral wire that delivers power to lights and appliances in your home.

The electric meter is mounted outdoors where electricity enters your home. This meter is used to measure the amount of electricity that is used. The meter is monitored by MVEA and is protected by law.

The central distribution point for delivering electricity to switches, outlets, and appliances throughout your house is the service panel.

The service panel is equipped with a breaker that shuts off power to the circuits if an electrical system failure occurs.

Grounding is the method used to connect an electrical system to the earth with a wire.

It adds critical protection against electric shock and electrocution by using a grounding rod to provide a third path for conducting electricity in the event of a short circuit or an overload.

This will help protect the person working on the system, the system itself, and any appliances and equipment that are connected to the system.

Visit the Energy Safe Kids website to view the Interactive Electrical Safety – In and Around Your Home Safety Poster.


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 40,000 residential fires claim more than 350 lives annually. Electrical fires are most often attributed to problems with:

  • Water can carry electricity, so keep electric appliances and cords away from water.
  • Make sure your hands are dry before you touch anything electrical-even if you think it is turned off.
  • Do not place too many plugs in an outlet.
  • When younger children are in your home, make sure all unused outlets have safety caps.
  • Do not put anything in electric outlets except safety caps or plugs.

Talk about electrical safety with your children. If you are unsure what information to share with your children visit the Safe Electricity website.

  • If you find a damaged cord, replace it or have it repaired.
  • Never put extension cords under rugs and keep them away from water, heat, and metal pipes.
  • Pull on the plug, not the cord, when you disconnect.

Storm Safety

Listen to weather forecasts every day so you’ll know when high winds or heavy snows or ice are on the way. That kind of weather is most likely to affect power lines.

It’s hard to predict the weather, but it’s easy to prepare for it.

Plan ahead for unavoidable power outages that can accompany storms.

Lightning striking down near power poles.

If you’re caught in a lightning storm:

Teach children to stay away from fallen or sagging power lines. They could be energized and dangerous, even if the power is out.

  • Keep a stock of canned food in your cupboard along with a manual can opener
  • Consider buying a camp stove and fuel that you can use (outdoors only) if you can’t cook on your electric stove
  • Tape MVEA’s phone number on your refrigerator so it will be handy if you must report an outage (Do not take it for granted that your neighbor has made the call)
  • Your cordless phones will not work, so have a traditional phone that you can use
  • Dress in layers to stay warm during a winter outage
  • Prepare an outage kit that contains:

A battery-powered radio

Fresh batteries

A Flashlight



A wind-up clock

Bottled water

Paper plates

Plastic utensils

Our hope is that the weather will spare us; however, if we do have outages, we will restore your service as quickly as possible.

Lineman fixing power pole


One of the most overlooked hazards on today’s farms is the risk of electrocution.

MVEA urges farm workers to be especially aware of the dangers of using farm equipment near power lines. Make sure that you, your family, and any farm workers know the location of all overhead power lines. Map out and discuss ways to avoid them when moving equipment.

  • Know the height of all farm equipment and of nearby power lines
  • Never move equipment under a line if you are unsure of the clearance
  • Avoid moving large machinery alone
  • Enlist someone to monitor you as you drive to prevent contact with overhead lines
  • Take caution when lifting or moving irrigation pipe. The combination of metal irrigation pipe and high voltage electricity can be deadly.
  • Periodically check grounding rods and wires around buildings and power poles.
  • These rods and wires can become damaged and broken. If damaged, the overall system will not provide adequate grounding protection.

Overhead & Underground Lines

Downed Power Lines-Always Assume They Are Energized!

Safety outside of your home may be as simple as understanding where some likely dangers exist. Here are a few of the most dangerous and easily preventable scenarios:

  • Always assume that utility lines are “live” – or energized – and keep far away from them
  • Be especially attentive after wind, ice, or heavy snow storms when wires may have fallen to the ground
  • If a power line hits your car, drive slowly away from the line if you can do so safely. If not, stay inside and wait for rescue workers. If you must get out because of fire or other danger, jump clear without touching metal and ground at the same time. Shuffle away keeping both feet on the ground. Downed Power Line Safety Sheet (PDF).

Use extra caution when you, or your contractor, are using a ladder while working outside around your home.

  • Look up first! Ladders, regardless of what they’re made of, can become electrified if brought into contact with overhead electric wires
  • Wooden and metal ladders can conduct electricity

Contact the Utility Notification Center of Colorado at 811 at least 3 days before you plan to dig.

  • Colorado law requires underground utilities to be located before anyone digs
  • Whether you are a contractor working on a site or a homeowner working around your own home, please note: digging can be dangerous if you don’t check first for underground wiring, cable, or other underground utilities such as natural gas lines, water, or sewer lines.
  • Don’t use outdoor power tools – electric drill, hedge clipper, sander, electric mower – in the rain or while working with or on wet surfaces
  • Consider installing a ground fault interrupter on outside outlets
  • Electric wires may be concealed in the trees or shrubs you want to trim. Before you trim trees or shrubs, inspect the area carefully to ensure that it’s clear of wires.
  • MVEA has the right, within public or private rights-of-way and easements, to trim trees and otherwise remove obstructions that are in violation of National Electrical Safety Code requirements, or that may prohibit safe, efficient operation, or restrict safe access to electrical facilities.
  • Trees are routinely trimmed around MVEA overhead electric distribution lines.

Please contact MVEA if you notice a tree that may be creating an electrical hazard by:

Filling out the Tree Trimming Request form

Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place (PDF)
  • Be sure electrical equipment for your swimming pool is grounded properly.
  • If you’re installing a pool, have it inspected by your town’s electrical inspector when the job is completed.
  • A ground fault interrupter should be installed on your pool’s electrical equipment. If a fault occurs in the equipment, the interrupter will instantly cut the power, preventing a serious electric shock.
  • Never construct a kite from wire or metal; always use paper or wood. That goes for the tail, too; it should only be made of dry string or cloth.
  • Check your string or cord to make certain that it does not contain wire or carbon filament that is conductive.
  • Always keep your kite away from electric power lines and choose a clear, dry day for kite flying.
  • If your kite should get snagged in power lines or in a tree in which lines might be concealed, don’t try to free it yourself. Contact MVEA or seek help from your local authorities.
  • Before you work on a rooftop television or citizens band radio antenna or install a satellite dish, be sure the area is clear of power lines.
  • Install these devices where they won’t touch or fall on electric lines.
  • MVEA’s contractor inspects poles in our territory.
  • Generally, they will have a sign on their vehicle, wear company hats, and carry an I.D. Badge