Electrical Safety Month
At Wells Rural Electric Co., we often speak of our mission to provide members with safe, reliable and affordable electricity. While we value all three of those tenets, it is no coincidence that “safe” comes first.
From linemen performing “hot work” in the field to irrigators moving lines to residential members doing household projects or bringing home their first child, we want all of our employees and members to be safe while enjoying the many benefits and conveniences electricity provides.
May is National Electrical Safety Month. Please keep the following safety tips in mind not just this month, but year-round. They could save your life.
Avoid Downed Lines
Stay away from downed power lines. While downed lines commonly spark and arc when live, that is not always the case. Stay a safe distance away even if the lines show no obvious signs of being live. Dial WREC’s 24-hour outage dispatch center at (800) 566-6696. If there is a car accident involving a utility pole, dial 911 immediately.
If you are in an accident with a power pole, the safest place to be is almost always inside your vehicle. Downed lines and damaged equipment could charge your vehicle with electricity, making you the path to ground if you attempt to step out of your car. Rather than risk electrocution, call 911 and remain inside your vehicle.
The lone exception when you should exit the vehicle is if it is on fire. If you must leave your vehicle in this situation, jump clear of your vehicle without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time. Jump with your feet together and continue to “bunny hop” to safety.
Look Up and Live
When you are focused on completing a project, it is sometimes easy to forget to check your surroundings. Whether you are cleaning gutters, working with long lengths of pipe or just flying kites with the kids, be sure to take a moment to make sure you are clear of any power lines.
Electricity always takes the most direct path to ground. It is worth taking the time to ensure that never includes your ladder or anything else you might be using.
Similarly, dial 811 before you start any digging project to make sure there are no gas, power or other utility lines where you plan to work.
Around the House
- Never use frayed or damaged extension cords. Avoid using them as permanent plug-ins, especially in heavy traffic areas where they could be trip hazards.
- Electricity and water don’t mix so always make sure appliances and other electronic items are stored and used in dry areas.
- About seven children a day are treated in emergency rooms for electric outlet-related injuries. If you have a toddler or young child in the house, consider installing tamper-resistant receptacles to keep them safe.