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Around Our Town...Safety

04/01/2005 - Spring has sprung, and adults, children, homeowners and workers are out and about playing, working on their homes and yards and taking care of outdoor projects. The shift to sun and springtime provides a great opportunity for Pacific Power to remind customers and the general public to be aware of electrical equipment—particularly overhead power lines—in the course of springtime activities.

"The weather in spring is just right for spending time on your home and yard and doing those things you've waited for all winter," said Amy Eschete, Pacific Power's public safety manager. "We want to remind people that it's also the right time to take some extra precautions and be aware of your surroundings when playing or working outdoors."

Pacific Power makes it part of its mission to raise awareness about potential electrical safety hazards. Company representatives work with everyone from schoolchildren to contractors to farm workers to police and firefighters to teach safety basics and explain the importance of staying away from power lines. They tell people that power lines are dangerous and can kill instantly if contacted; reminding them that electricity will take the shortest path to ground, traveling through tools, equipment or people to get there.

"The best way to stay safe is to be alert and aware of nearby power lines and electrical equipment," Eschete said. "People should keep safety in mind at all times, no matter what they are doing. We want to do everything we can to avoid serious injuries or death as a result of contact with power equipment."

Pacific Power offers the following safety tips on common outdoor projects and activities:

Look up and live. Pay attention to the location of all overhead power lines.

When painting a house or trim, note where power lines connect to the house and keep ladders, scaffolding and other equipment away.

If moving, adjusting or installing an antenna or satellite dish, keep well away from electrical wires.

Note the location of overhead electrical wires both while working and when moving equipment, as well as when installing, removing, cleaning or repairing gutters.

Check for nearby electrical wires when pruning trees. If lines run through or near your tree, don't attempt to cut. Instead, call Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070.

Fly kites away from overhead power lines. If a kite becomes tangled in electrical wires, immediately let go of the string and make no attempt to remove the kite! Call Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070.

Check trees for overhead wires running near or through limbs and branches before climbing or building tree houses. If lines are present, do not climb the tree for any reason.

Stay away to stay safe. If you spot an electrical wire down, keep everyone out of the area and immediately call 911 or Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070.

Never try to move or go near a downed wire and always assume a downed wire is dangerous and that the power line is energized. Touching a live line or anything near it— like a fence or a puddle—can cause electricity to flow through your body, resulting in serious injury or death.

Before digging to plant trees and shrubs, landscape or post fences, call your local one-call center to request the free underground utility locating service. For the number of your center, call us at 1-888-221-7070 or visit us at www.pacificpower.net.

To order free Pacific Power safety education materials, call 1-800-791-6093. To learn more about electrical safety or to schedule a safety presentation, call 1-800-375-7085 or visit www.pacificpower.net.

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