Although electricity cannot be seen, smelled or heard, it can be felt, and just one touch can be deadly. Please follow our safety tips to help you stay safe around electricity!
• When buying electrical equipment or appliances, always look for the Underwriters Laboratories seal of
approval and make sure it applies to the entire appliance, not just the plug or cord.
• Do not run cords behind radiators, under carpets, through doorways, around pipes, or near metal
• When working outside, avoid contact with overhead power lines or exposed wires. Be careful when
installing CB antennas or towers. Improperly installed antennas might topple and cause power outages,
injuries and even death.
• Check all extension and appliance cords frequently to be sure they are not worn or frayed. If they are,
replace them immediately. Don't patch a broken cord.
• Always unplug small electrical appliances after using them. Even when the switch says "off" power is
still present, and appliances can electrocute you if they contact water.
• Do not plug power tools or heavy appliances into a lamp socket. Plug them into a wall outlet. Lamp
cords are not made to carry a heavy electrical load.
• Do not pull a plug from a wall outlet by the cord. Grasp the plug itself and pull it straight out.
• Do not plug too many appliances into one socket. Wires may overheat, destroy insulation, and cause a
• If you have doubts about appliance grounding, cord sizes, or other electrical questions, check with a
• Fly kites only in open fields, away from electric wires. Do not use wire, metal or wet string on a kite. If
your kite catches in a wire or on a high pole, don't try to remove it--call IELD. Don't use metal in
making a kite. Don't fly kites on or near a public highway. Don't fly a kite in wet or stormy weather.
• Be sure tools and appliances are properly grounded. A three-prong plug used in a two-wire receptacle
must have an adapter. Connect the "pigtail" wire on the adapter to the metal screw on the outlet cover
plate to get grounding protection. Never use a tool or appliance with a two-wire connection outdoors or
in a damp location.
• Never use an electrical appliance near a tub or sink. If an appliance falls into water, DO NOT reach for
it. Immediately unplug it from the wall outlet.
• Improper handling of electrical appliances can cause fire. Don't let wires overheat. Disconnect if there
are any sparks. All electrical wires are designed to carry only a certain amount of electricity.
Overloading them causes them to overheat, gradually destroys the insulation, and can create a hazard.
Turn off any appliance that smokes or stops running.
• To prevent overheating, make sure the cord is large enough to carry the electricity necessary to operate
the tool or appliance. Heavy duty extension cords should be used with portable tools and other heavy
duty appliances--never ordinary lamp cords.
• Have at least one fire extinguisher handy for home fires.
Call 811 Before you dig!
811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone number. Anyone who plans to dig should call 811 or visit the website a few business days before digging to request that the approximate location of buried utilities be marked with paint or flags so that you don’t unintentionally dig into an underground utility line.
811 protects you and your community! Hitting a buried line while digging can disrupt utility service, cost money to repair, or cause serious injury or death. Always contact your 811 center, wait the required time for utilities to respond to your request, and ensure that all utilities have responded to your request before putting a shovel in the ground.
Do you use life-support equipment?
Ipswich Electric Light Department maintains a list of people who, for medical reasons, are given priority for service restoration. The list is updated regularly to enable the IELD to better assist those most in need. Despite our best efforts, electric lines are vulnerable to storms, lightning and accidents. IELD strives to restore service efficiently for all IELD members, particularly those on the life-support list. Our crews must work in an orderly manner when restoring service. If we don't methodically work through the outage, service could be lost again and outages might last even longer. To be placed on the priority list, individuals who depend on electricity for life-support equipment should contact the IELD annually. However, in the event of widespread outages, being on the list is not a guarantee of early service restoration. When at all possible, we give priority to those on the medical priority list. Please remember, people who depend on electrical equipment for a medical necessity should always have alternate plans in place in case the power goes out for an extended amount of time. This may include a backup power source, extra medical supplies or an alternate location until the outage is over.
To be placed on the priority response list, please include the type of medical equipment required and the estimated time the equipment will run on backup power.
To be placed on the medical priority list call our office at 978-356-6635
During Emergencies and Outages:
To help prepare your family for power outages caused by storms, make sure you have the
• Flashlight and batteries
• Battery-powered radio
• Candles and matches
• Extra food and water
• First aid supplies and medicine
• Fire extinguisher
• Never touch, kick, pull or attempt to pick up a fallen wire. Even a telephone wire could be deadly if
tangled with a power line some distance away. Notify IELD and keep other people away until utility
repair people arrive.
• While you are waiting for IELD crews to arrive, turn off all appliances that turn on
automatically when power is restored, including refrigerators, televisions, water pumps and
furnaces. Leave one light on so you will know when the power is back on and one outside light
so the linemen know the power is restored. Once power has been restored, gradually reconnect
appliances and reset clocks and timers.
• Unplug all unnecessary appliances and electric equipment such as stereos, TVs and computers.
• Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer (your food should stay fresh for at least 24 hours if
the door is seldom opened).
• Do not plug a backup generator into an outlet in your home. Generators should be connected
to a transfer switch only. If you connect to an outlet, the power from your generator will flow
backwards into our distribution system and may seriously injure or kill our linemen. Never run
your generator indoors. Generators create CO2, an odorless, tasteless, and invisible gas that can
• Do not burn charcoal for heat—it gives off dangerous fumes. In addition, a fireplace may pull
more warm air from a house than it gives out.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook @ipswichutility for updates during emergency events
For more information about emergency preparedness, please visit Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)