Make Safety Your First Priority - Carolina Country

Make Safety Your First Priority

Electrical Safety Tips

By Dale Lambert

Make Safety Your First Priority
  • Water and electricity do not mix. If a downed power line is near or in water, never come into contact with either.
  • Never assume a downed power line is de-energized. If you encounter a downed line, stay back and keep others away. Contact your local power provider to report the downed line.
  • Do not touch anything that is near or in contact with, or in the vicinity of, a downed power line. Likewise, service lines, even if they are insulated, should be considered dangerous and treated the same as a high-voltage line.
  • Never touch a tree or tree branch that is making contact with a power line. Electrical current can flow through the tree or a tree branch and shock or kill anyone touching it.
  • If you encounter a downed wire touching a vehicle, stay clear. If you are inside the vehicle, wait for help. If you absolutely must leave your car due to a fire or other emergency, then jump clear without touching the car and the ground at the same time. Be sure to land with your feet together. Then, shuffle away with your feet staying close together.
  • If you use a standby generator during an outage situation, be sure it is installed and wired properly. Never connect a generator directly to your main electrical panel or an electrical outlet. Without the correct safety mechanisms, power from the generator could flow back onto the power line and injure or kill you or one of our line personnel.
  • Never work or play in the vicinity where you, or the object you are working or playing with, can come in contact with a power line. Be extremely careful with farm augers, ladders, lifting booms, antennas and flying kites. Look up before you move tall items.
  • If you must dig in the vicinity of underground utility lines, contact North Carolina 811 to locate underground lines at least three days before work begins. An energized underground power line can be just as deadly as an overhead line.

About the Author

Dale Lambert is CEO for Randolph EMC, located in Asheboro. He also serves as vice president of the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation board of directors.

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