As Seasons Change, Maintain Focus on Safety

October 13, 2020

Fall is a fun time of year, filled with carving pumpkins, building bonfires and enjoying the colorful leaves. While participating in seasonal activities – and completing those year-end outdoor projects – remember to incorporate safety into your plans.

According to Max Safety, fictional spokesperson for FirstEnergy’s Public Safety Outreach program, electrical hazards are present all year long, but there are risks specific to the fall season. He wants everyone to remember a simple message: Stop. Look. Live.

  • STOP what you’re doing to consider your personal safety before working or playi​ng around power lines or electrical equipment.
  • LOOK around for potential hazards and ways you might come into contact with electrical equipment and identify a way to avoid the hazard.
  • LIVE and prevent serious injury or death by taking precautions to avoid accidental contact with electrical equipment. There is nothing more important than your safety.

Max offers the following tips to help ensure you and your family stay injury-free this fall.


  • Before cleaning rain gutters or using equipment that extends your reach, identify where electrical lines are located and stay at least 30 feet away.
  • Plug seasonal lights and decorations into outlets that feature Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).
  • Do not build bonfires under power lines. Smoke and heat can damage wires and cause arcing and sparking.
  • ​Call 8-1-1 at least three days before working on a project that require​​s digging or inserting materials into the ground to avoid contacting underground lines.
  • Keep dry leaves away from outdoor lighting, outlets and power cords to avoid a potential fire.
  • Never use electric tools in wet areas.


  • Place safety covers over electrical outlets that are not being used to prevent shock.
  • Inspect power cords around your home for frayed or damaged wires and keep them away from heat and moisture.
  • Be careful not to overload extension cords while setting up seasonal lights and decorations and be sure to unplug them before going to bed or leaving the house unattended.
  • Do not place heat-producing appliances near combustible materials such as paper, drapes or furniture.
  • Avoid overloading your circuits while using high-energy devices such as space heaters. Doing so could cause a fire or blow your fuses or breakers.
  • Gasoline or diesel-powered generators can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide and should never be operated inside your home or garage. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and all local building codes to ensure safety.

Additional safety information specifically tailored for first responders, contractors, school kids and others is available at www.fir​