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EXELON : Important Spring Safety Tips from PECO

05/19/2011 | 01:55pm EDT

Warmer weather is officially here, and with the warmer weather comes yard work and many outdoor and indoor home improvement projects. As customers begin their spring cleaning, landscaping and other projects, PECO provides important safety tips to help customers stay safe.

"We want to make sure our customers have all the information they need to stay safe as the warm weather rolls in," said Angela Ahmad, PECO's manager of Safety Field Services. "For example, it is critical that customers stay away from the electric and natural gas equipment that provides service to their homes. And, if customers are doing any sort of work that requires underground digging or excavation, they must call PA One Call at 811, in advance, to have all the underground lines and pipes marked for safety."

The following are a few simple safety tips that homeowners should follow while working inside and outside of the home. For more information on electric safety, visit www.peco.com/SAFETY

Working Safely Outdoors

  • Be sure to use extension cords marked for outdoor use. An indoor extension cord used outdoors can create a fire hazard and result in electric shock.
  • We recommend for you to call a licensed professional if your home repairs require work near power lines.
  • Look up, stay away, stay alive - even momentary contact with electric lines can injure or kill. This applies to lines attached to utility poles as well as those entering buildings. Always keep yourself, your equipment, and anything you carry at least 10 feet away from power lines. You, contractors or other professionals needing to work within 10 feet of a power line should call PECO New Business Services in advance at 1-800-454-4100 to have PECO protect the work area.
  • Be aware of power lines that run through tree limbs and branches. Climbing or trimming trees near power lines is dangerous. A qualified contractor should always trim trees located near aerial power lines.

Call Before You Dig

  • When working underground, "call before you dig." Whether you are planting a tree, building a fence or laying a building foundation, contact with an underground line can be fatal. Call Pennsylvania One Call at 811, three working days in advance, to have all underground lines marked for safety.

Use Electrical Tools Wisely

  • Inspect your electrical tools on a regular basis, including large tools such as table saws, drill presses and bench grinders. Look for frayed power cords, broken plugs or cracked housings. Never use a damaged product.
  • Never use electrical tools in the rain or in wet areas. Specifically, do not use electrically powered lawn mowers on wet grass.
  • Use three-pronged outlets and plugs.
  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment like face shields, glasses, gloves and boots. Refer to equipment manuals for recommended protective equipment.

Inspect Your Home for Electrical Safety

  • Check outlets and extension cords to make sure they aren't overloaded.
  • Examine electrical cords to make sure they are not frayed, damaged or placed under rugs or carpets.
  • Make sure the proper wattage light bulbs are being used in light fixtures and lamps.
  • Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas that can get wet such as the kitchen, bathrooms or outdoors.
  • An older home may be inadequately wired for today's electrical usage. To avoid the risk of fire or electric shock, hire a licensed professional to replace worn and outdated circuitry and add additional outlets to accommodate appliances and electronics.
  • Test your smoke detector batteries annually.

Nationally recognized as one of the best utilities safety performance, PECO is ranked among the top 10% percent of utilities according to the latest Edison Electric Institute (EEI) benchmarking safety study.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 490,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 87.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 39.5 billion kilowatt-hours-hours of electricity in 2010. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.

If you are a member of the media and would like to receive PECO news releases via e-mail please send your e-mail address to PECO.Communication@exeloncorp.com

Cathy Engel Menendez or Liz Williamson, 215-841-5555

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