SLECA offers safety tips for school year

With the start of the 2011-12 school year, South Louisiana Electric Cooperative Association reminds students, teachers and classroom personnel to act safely when using electrical equipment during.

SLECA general manager Mike Guidry said that more and more students are arriving at college with sophisticated electronic appliances.

“Students are bringing computers, cell phones that need re-charging, refrigerators, CD players as well as TVs, VCRs and DVD players with them to school,” Guidry said. “These appliances may make the college experience more enjoyable and more convenient but they can also be dangerous if not operated safely.”

Guidry said that teachers and other classroom personnel would also be using many of these same appliances as well as others like overheard and computer projectors as teaching tools in their classes.

To avoid electric accidents SLECA is offering the following tips:

—Don’t overload outlets. This could cause a fuse to blow or a circuit breaker to open. It could even cause a fire.

—Don’t run extension cords under rugs or rest furniture on them. Extension cords are meant to be used sparingly, not on a permanent basis. Make sure extension cords are properly rated.

—Use surge suppressors to offer protection from fluctuating voltage.

—Keep electrical appliances such as hair dryers, irons and their cords away from water.

—When using a halogen lamp, make sure that curtains and other items are not too close. Some items can actually catch on fire because of the hot temperatures from a halogen lamp.

—Make sure that all wiring, cords and cables are away from traffic areas to prevent people from tripping and falling.

—Use equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never bypass electrical interlocks or disable safety features.

—Have any defective or damaged wiring replaced or repaired before use.

—To prevent overheating, it’s essential to leave enough space around electrical equipment and appliances, including computers, printers and other equipment.

Guidry said that being aware of the potential dangers associated with the use of electrical equipment can make the school year less stressful for students and teachers.

“Many common electrical accidents can easily be avoided by using a little common sense,” Guidry said. “And not taking safety for granted.”

SLECA serves more than 15,000 consumers in Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Martin, St. Mary and Assumption parishes and is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.

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