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Circuits, Wiring

Electric Safety

Taking necessary precautions will ensure electrical safety in your home, at work or wherever electricity is present. Remember, there are no shortcuts when it comes to electrical safety awareness, and with these helpful tips your safety will always come first.

When doing electrical work around your house, always make sure to consult a qualified electrician.

You can be severely shocked or electrocuted even from contact with a 120 volt outlet in your home. Here are some terms you may want to be familiar with:

Branch Circuits

Never overload branch circuits by operating more appliances than the circuits were designed to handle. Remember: Several outlets are usually connected to one branch circuit.


Use correct size fuses and breakers for circuits. Size refers to a circuit's amperage rating. If you don't know the rating, have a qualified electrician identify and label the sizes to be used.


Disconnect immediately if an appliance blows a fuse, trips a breaker or emits sparks or sizzling sounds. Discard the appliance or have it repaired.


Before plugging in appliances, familiarize yourself with how much of a load common appliances produce on household circuits. Check our Home Appliance Amp Reference Chart.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

What are they? — GFCIs work by detecting slight variations in current. If a short occurs, a GFCI will trip in a fraction of a second.

There are three types of GFCIs:

Circuit breaker-type GFCIs installed by qualified electricians go directly into an electrical panel to replace ordinary circuit breakers.

Receptacle-type GFCIs installed by qualified electricians resemble ordinary electrical outlets and can be tested and reset at the outlet.

Portable GFCIs can be plugged directly into any receptacle and do not require special knowledge to install.

Where to use? — Ground fault circuit interrupters should be installed where water is present (such as in bathrooms and kitchens), or where easy contact with the ground can be made. However, even with GFCIs, you must still exercise extreme caution around water.

Test — Never modify or bypass a GFCI. Test GFCIs periodically to see that they are working properly. Do this by pressing the red "Test" button on each GFCI.

Call Before You Dig or Work

Before beginning any excavation in the vicinity of underground electrical lines or working in the vicinity of an overhead high-voltage electrical line, call 811 to request an underground locator service or overhead safeguards. For more information, visit Call811.com.

Safety Tip

Trees near power lines can be dangerous. If a snapped or trimmed limb falls onto a power line, do not touch the limb with your hands, a pole or other object. Call Georgia Power or 911 immediately. See more safety tips

Energy Education for Kids

Have fun learning about electricity and power companies at our educational website, Learning Power.

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