CPU Encourages Customers to Plug into Safety

Review tips and raise awareness during National Electrical Safety Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and CPU is reminding customers to be aware of and correct any potential electrical hazards around homes and businesses.

“Safety is one of our core values and a top priority for all of us at Clarksdale Public Utilities,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “We want our customers to be just as focused on safety as we are buy taking simple precautions to prevent electric hazards.”

Here are some electrical safety tips that can help:

Electrical cords

  • Check all cords, plugs, surge protectors and extension cords for fraying, exposed wires or broken components. Replace cords that may be damaged, and never overload electric outlets.
  • Remember that extension cords are for temporary use only. If you need additional outlets, contact a licensed electrician to install them.
  • Keep all electrical cords away from foot traffic. Never run them under carpets or rugs or tack or nail them to walls or floors.
  • Make sure cords are located away from heat sources.
  • Use only weather-resistant extension cords that are intended for outdoor use.

Plugs and outlets

  • Ensure your plugs fit snugly into outlets. If yours do not, contact a licensed electrician to upgrade them.
  • Never overload outlets with multiple high-wattage devices such as space heaters, toasters or hair dryers.
  • Plug major appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners and hot water heaters directly into wall outlets specifically designed to handle their electrical needs. Never use surge protectors or extension cords for large appliances.
  • If your home was built after 2008, consider equipping it with tamper-resistant electrical outlets. If your home was built before 2008, or doesn’t already have them, instead consider installing childproof covers on outlets within their reach.
  • Two types of circuit breakers — AFCIs and GFCIs — can reduce the chance of electrical shock or fire by de-energizing circuits if they become hazardous. If you don’t already have these arc fault circuit interrupters or ground fault circuit interrupters installed, contact a licensed electrician for upgrades.
  • Make sure all appliances are kept away from water sources and that your hands are dry before handling them. Unplug them when not in use.
  • If an appliance falls into water or gets wet, turn off the breaker at the main electrical panel before unplugging the appliance or removing it from the water.
  • Install watertight covers on all outdoor outlets that will protect them from the elements even when cords are plugged in.


  • Only use lightbulbs at or below the maximum wattage listed on your lamp or light fixture.
  • Consider using energy-efficient LED bulbs that typically run cooler than their incandescent counterparts.
  • When changing bulbs, make sure that the fixture is unplugged and that the bulb has had enough time to cool before handling it.
  • If a wiring issue is causing a light to flicker, make sure you turn off the breaker that controls the light, unplug the fixture and call a licensed electrician to address it.

Electrical panel

  • Keep the electrical panel free from obstructions, and make sure the area and your hands are dry before touching it.
  • Make sure your electrical panel has accurate labels on each of the circuit breakers, naming the outlets, rooms, and/or appliances to which they are connected.

Remember, call a licensed electrician immediately if your lights dim or flicker, you feel a shock or tingling sensation near a light switch or appliance, your fuses frequently blow or your circuit breakers regularly trip. And for more information on electrical safety around your home or business, visit ESFI’s website for additional tips and resources.

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

Contact us for more information

For more than 125 years, Clarksdale Public Utilities has supplied utility services that support our community’s growth, vibrance and quality of life. But we are more than a provider of reliable and affordable electric, water and wastewater services — we are your family, friends and neighbors. We are people who care. We are CPU.

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