Everyday Electrical Safety Tips

  • Never turn on an appliance when you’re on a wet floor or in the bathtub or shower.
  • If something seems wrong with an appliance or tool, or it gives even the slightest shock, disconnect it.
  • Have it repaired or discard it.
  • Always disconnect small appliances and tools before cleaning them.
  • To disconnect an appliance or tool, don’t pull the cord: instead, grasp the plug and pull it from the outlet.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or flooring. Be sure that the size of your extension cord is adequate for the tool or appliance.
  • Never touch or approach downed power lines. Always assume that downed wires are energized. Call your local law enforcement office or KPUB immediately to report downed power lines.
  • Keep ladders and other conductive objects away from electrical lines. If you don’t know whether an object is conductive— play it safe, and assume that it is.
  • If you plan to use an auxiliary generator during a temporary power outage, or at any time, notify us beforehand. Improper installation and use could damage equipment, and seriously injure you or a KPUB employee.
  • Never enter a substation or fenced enclosure that surrounds electrical equipment. The fenced-off area is extremely dangerous. Keep ladders and other conductive objects away from electrical lines. If you don’t know whether an object is conductive – play it safe, and assume that it is.
  • Don’t use electrical tools near water or in the rain. Keep antennas away from power lines.
  • Don’t fly kites near electric wires. If kite string gets caught in power lines, leave it alone; don’t try to remove the string from the lines. Instead, call KPUB for assistance.
  • Never climb a utility pole or a tree that is near electrical wires.

Stay Safe—Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

The current building trend is to bury utilities underground. Therefore, you must be cautious when digging on your property. Utilities, such as electric, gas, communications, water and sewer, may be buried on your property. Contact with these lines can lead to a serious injury—even death. Call Before You Dig is a free service that locates your underground utilities.

State Law Requires Notification

There is a state law in place that requires all persons, digging 16 inches or deeper, to call a notification center. The call must be at least 48 hours prior to digging.

Notification centers will then contact the utility companies, who will then go out and mark the underground utilities. In Texas, you can call the DIGTESS notification center at 8-1-1 or visit their website at

If You Hit a Utility Line When Digging

  • Discontinue excavation and call 8-1-1 immediately to report the hit.
  • If the hit results in a power outage, call 830.257.2883 to report it.
How Shock Happens
Electricity always seeks the shortest path to the ground. It tries to find a conductor, such as metal, wet wood, water, or your body! Your body is 70% water. So, if you touch an energized bare wire or faulty appliance while you are grounded, electricity will instantly pass through you to the ground, causing a harmful or fatal shock.
Your Service Panel
Your service panel contains fuses or circuit breakers which interrupt power to specific circuits in case of a short circuit or overload. If this happens:

  1. Unplug appliances
  2. Switch off power at the main switch
  3. Consult a licensed electrician
  4. If you have circuit breakers instead, switch the one that’s “off” to “on”
  5. Restore power
  6. Never put a penny or aluminum foil in a fuse box to replace a fuse as this could cause a fire.
It Doesn’t Take Much
The amount of electricity used by one 7.5 watt Christmas bulb can kill you in a fraction of a second if it passes through your chest. Even if it isn’t fatal, electrical shock can easily cause serious falls, burns, cuts, or internal bleeding.
Your Home Wiring
Your home wiring is just a number of loops, or circuits. A “live” wire brings current to a light or an outlet. A “neutral” wire returns current to its source. Between inside wiring and outside lines is a service panel.
Electrical Appliances
Remember the most important rule for home appliances: electricity and water don’t mix! Keep appliances, especially hair dryers, away from bathtubs, puddles, sinks and wet hands. Unplug an appliance before cleaning it. Even if the appliance is off, it can shock, and wet skin decreases your resistance to electricity significantly. Never put metal objects in live parts of appliances or in outlets. If an appliance overheats, unplug it and have it checked. Use only electrical equipment that is approved by a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories.
Prevent Electrical Fires
If you’ve ever touched a hot light bulb, you know how hot it can get – up to 300 degrees for a 100-watt bulb. So keep anything that will burn away from light bulbs, portable heaters, or toasters. Turn off heating and cooking appliances before leaving home. Don’t overload outlets. If you must use an extension cord temporarily, match amperage or wattage limits marked on the cord and appliance to avoid a fire hazard.