CEO’s Message — May 2021

Texas is a Mess
Headshot of Clay Fitch

Safety around electricity is always a good idea, but when spring comes—and we finally get to spend more time outside—it’s essential to revisit some of the dos and don’ts. It only takes one careless moment for tragedy to strike.

Electricity constantly seeks a path to ground. A tall piece of machinery, a metal ladder, a long-reach pruner, a tree, or—worst of all—a human body that touches both an energized wire and the ground will complete the circuit with devastating results. It is crucial that you look before you lift and call before you dig.

Your board and employees make safety our top priority. We have specific policies and practices in place to ensure every employee works safely every day. We also conduct training and job briefings to ensure all aspects of safety are addressed. We participate in national programs such as Commitment to Zero to incorporate best practices.

Your safety is equally important. To prevent yourself or a loved one from becoming a victim of an electrical accident, follow these safety tips:

  • Never go near a downed power line, whether you think it is energized or not.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, your safest option is to remain inside the vehicle unless there is a fire. The vehicle acts as a path for the electrical current to reach ground. You are safe inside the vehicle, but you could get electrocuted if you attempt to get out. Call 911 so our highly trained line crews and emergency responders can help you remain safe.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle—and there is a fire—jump out of the vehicle with both feet together, making sure no part of your body or clothing touches the ground and the vehicle at the same time. Try to land with both feet together. In small, shuffling steps, move a safe distance from the vehicle and the damaged power lines. Call 911.
  • Always call 811 before you dig. At no cost to you, utilities will mark the location of their underground lines to help you avoid contact with power, gas, telephone, water, or sewer lines. One wrong move could result in injury or death from an electrical shock or explosion.
  • Don’t plant tall-growing trees under power lines. If a tree has power lines running through it, don’t climb it or build anything in it.
  • Never fly drones, model airplanes or rockets, mylar balloons, or kites near power lines. If something gets caught in the power line, do not try to remove it yourself. Call our dispatch center at (800) 566-6696.

Wells Rural Electric Cooperative (WREC) has contracted with a professional tree-trimming service, and their crews could be working in your area. In addition to their logo, their trucks will have a sign with WREC’s logo clearly identifying them as a contractor.

Under our contract, they are limited to trimming trees that pose a safety hazard. This is not an endorsement, but if you have additional work you want done, please call them for a quote rather than entering the work zone where falling branches could strike you. Remember, their quote is from an independent contractor. WREC does not set their rates and will not bill you or pay for any services you choose.

Please see additional information about the benefits of tree trimming by visiting our Preventative Maintenance Program post.

Best wishes for a safe spring!

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer