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Power Safety

The harnessing of electric power has been one of the greatest human achievements. Today we can heat and cool our homes, power medical equipment that saves lives, and learn and communicate on the internet—all through the use of electricity.

But electricity, when handled improperly, can be very dangerous—even deadly. Both lightning and electricity from power plants demand great respect from kids and adults in order to prevent accidents.

TVA wants to help you learn how to stay safe when it comes to electric power. Here are some important tips for preventing injuries from electricity.


Never turn on a light switch or electrical appliance while you are wet or while you are in the bathtub.

  • Be careful not to leave electrical cords where people might step on them. Wear and tear on the cord can cause it to become unsafe.
  • Check electrical cords for exposed wiring before plugging anything in. If you see a worn-looking cord, point it out to an adult.
  • Never put any object other than a plug designed for that purpose into an electrical outlet. If you have questions about whether a plug is safe to use, ask an adult.
  • Never touch electrical outlets with your fingers or with objects.
  • Ask an adult to help you change light bulbs. Always turn lamps and other light fixtures off before changing a bulb.
  • In case of an electrical fire at home get out of the house, then call 911 and an adult.
  • Never use water to try to put out an electrical fire—you could be killed.


Never climb utility poles, transmission towers, or fences around electrical plants or substations (which house equipment that reduces high voltage electricity so it can be used by consumers). If you see other people doing these things, tell an adult right away.

  • Stay away from areas or buildings marked with signs that read “Danger: High Voltage.”
  • If you enjoy climbing trees, avoid trees that are near electrical power lines.
  • Never, ever touch an outdoor electrical pole or wire that has fallen to the ground. It could kill you!
  • Stay away from and never touch transformers (usually large metal boxes attached to utility poles or on the ground) or substations. They contain high-voltage equipment that can hurt or kill you.
  • Come inside during a thunderstorm (or even occasional flashes of lightning with no rain). Many people around the world are struck by lightning each year. Nearly all are badly injured and some are killed.
  • Call 911 if you see a person who has been or is being electrocuted. Do not touch the person because they could be carrying the flow of electricity.
  • Never swim during storms. As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, get out of the water.