Home & Pet Safety


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.

Tampering with the electric meter is extremely dangerous and illegal!

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.

Home Electrical Safety

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.

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
  • 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
  • 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.

Pet-Proof Your Home for Electrical Safety With These Tips:

  • Make sure all plugs are inserted completely into their wall sockets. Small paws, noses and tongues can easily find their way into the partially exposed prongs.
  • If your pet demonstrates an interest in electrical cords, check the cords frequently for signs of fraying and replace any damaged cords immediately. If your pet continues to seek them out, coat the cords with bitter-tasting pet deterrent available at your local pet store. If that fails, you can wrap the cords in flexible cable, or encase them in PVC. Some stores also offer pet-proof cords that serve the same purpose.
  • Appliances near sinks and bathtubs should only be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection in case an electrical appliance is knocked into the water. If your cat enjoys playing in the sink, make sure no electrical appliances (like radios or curling irons) are left unattended on the bathroom counter.
  • If you have a fenced, outdoor area for your dog, be mindful of any underground electrical or cable lines running through that area. Make sure the lines are buried at appropriate depths, especially if your dog likes to dig. In the event of an electrical storm, bring all pets indoors immediately.

If you think your pet may have suffered an electrical shock, approach it with caution to keep from being injured by the same electrical danger. Inspect the animal for injuries and get your pet to an animal care center as soon as possible.