Electric Safety


Electricity is so easy to use that we sometimes forget how dangerous it is. Did you know there is enough electrical current in a small, electric Christmas tree lightbulb to stop your heart? Hundreds of electrocutions, thousands of shocks and burn injuries, as well as thousands of fires occur each year because of electricity related incidents.

Often, electrical injuries can be avoided by implementing basic safety precautions. Please review the electrical safety tips below to learn how you can protect yourself and others from electrical injuries. 

Call Before You Dig

Tennessee One-Call System, Inc., acts as an advance notification service to operators of underground facilities anywhere within the state. TN One-Call is the only such service in Tennessee and is recognized as the official one-call service for the state.

Someone digging with a Shovel

NOTICE: BrightRidge will locate its underground electrical facilities on BrightRidge property or its right-of-ways. If there are underground electrical utilities located on the customer’s properties, it is the customer’s responsibility to utilize an underground locating service/contractor to identify and mark accordingly. The hiring and payment for this type of contractor is the customer’s responsibility.

Generator Safety

If you should lose electric service and you choose to use a portable generator until power is restored, follow these common-sense rules before connecting:

  • Report your power outage to BrightRidge by calling (423) 952-5000 or via SmartHub. One call will be sufficient; repeated calls simply overload the automated reporting system.
  • Carefully read your generator instruction manual before using.
  • All permanent generator installations should be inspected by a certified State Electrical Inspector.  You should not use the device prior to inspection.
  • NEVER connect your generator directly to house wiring unless you have a properly installed double-throw-over open transition switch. These switches disconnect the home’s electrical service from BrightRidge’s electrical grid. They disconnect the energized wires and the neutral wire from your service entrance cables.  These switches must be in place to ensure the safety of our lines and protect linemen from back-feeds from non-utility sources.  A lineman could be severely injured or killed if a generator is connected without the proper safety switch in place.  Opening the main switch or breaker will NOT disconnect the neutral conductor. Power from the generator can flow backwards into the supply system through neutral conductors, through transformers, creating deadly full-line voltages on power lines that utility employees could be repairing. Pulling the meter will NOT disconnect the neutral and WILL be considered Unauthorized Tampering with BrightRidge equipment. 
  • When connecting equipment to generators, always be sure cords are of sufficient size (current carrying capacity) for the load you are connecting. Use a separate cord for each piece of equipment connected. Be sure that all cords are wired correctly.
  • Check your cords to ensure that all insulation is in place or in good repair and that no wires are exposed.
  • Turn the generator off and allow it time to cool before refueling.  Never fuel a hot engine.
  • Avoid electrocution.  Keep the generator dry.  Do not use a generator in rain, snow, or wet conditions.  Do not touch the generator with wet hands.  If your generator is in a wet area (outdoors), or cords or equipment are in wet areas, utilize Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection. These work the same way as your bathroom electric receptacles and trip-off when a short circuit is detected.
  • Generators are intended for outdoor use.  Never use a generator in an enclosed, interior setting as this could create Carbon Monoxide (CO), which could be fatal if such fumes are inhaled.  You should install carbon monoxide detectors at ground level.
  • Do not overload the generator.  If necessary, stagger the operating times, especially for large pieces of equipment, to prevent overload.
  • Choose a generator that produces more amps than you need.  (Determine the total amps you need by dividing watts by volts.)
  • Make sure the generator is properly grounded.  Without proper grounding, you could be electrocuted.
  • View our Diagram indicating proper generator hook–up or pick up a copy of this diagram in our Engineering Department.

Indoor Safety

  • Electrical outlets should be routinely checked for loose fitting plugs, which can overheat and become a fire hazard.
  • Broken or missing wall plates should be replaced.
  • Unused outlets should be covered with safety covers.
  • Appliances, lamps, or other electrical cords should be routinely checked for frayed or cracked areas.
  • Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis.
  • Never unplug an electrical cord by pulling on the cord. To unplug an appliance properly, pull on the plug head.
  • Never place electrical cords underneath carpet or nail to a wall or baseboard.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are designed to detect ground faults at very low levels and interrupt the power supply to prevent electrical shock. GFCI outlets should be used in areas where electricity can come in contact with water (such as bathrooms, garages, kitchens, and swimming pools). For more information on the use of GFCIs, consult a licensed electrician or obtain a copy of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
  • When using space heaters, keep them at least 3’ away from combustible materials such as draperies, furniture, bedding, and rugs.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets. Check circuit breaker or fuse amperages to ensure they can withstand the load of the appliance.

Outdoor Safety

  • When working outside, such as working from a ladder, pruning trees, or working on the roof, beware of overhead power lines.
  • All outdoor electrical outlets should be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected.
  • Never use electrically operated power tools in the rain or wet conditions.
  • Do not allow children to fly kites around power lines. Electricity can travel through the kites’ string. Keep your child safe by flying kites in an open area.
  • Never touch a fallen power line. Always assume it is energized and immediately call BrightRidge at (423) 952-5000.
  • Teach children to recognize and stay clear of potentially dangerous electrical hazards outside your home, such as utility poles, utility pole guy wires, and transformer enclosures.
  • When using lighted holiday decorations, make sure they are suitable for outdoor use and take time to inspect all electrical connections and cords for damage.
  • In the event of lightning, seek shelter immediately. Never stand under a tree, tall objects, or go near water. Lightning can strike anywhere.