May is observed as National Electrical Safety Month and Cuivre River Electric Cooperative reminds area residents to be aware of the dangers of electricity while working or playing outdoors. Safety Coordinator Doug Bagby stresses, “Play it safe with electricity. Accidents involving power lines usually happen when someone doesn’t take the time to look up and observe the whole situation.”
Cuivre River offers these important safety tips to help make spring more enjoyable:
Never fly a kite near power lines. Someone could be electrocuted if a kite becomes entangled with power lines, because electricity always seeks a path to the ground. Bagby adds, “It’s best to look for an open space to enjoy kite flying.”
Remind children to not play on or near pad mount transformers.
Look up for power lines before installing a satellite dish, antenna, making roof repairs, trimming or pruning trees, or using long-handled tools.
Check outdoor electrical outlets for protective weatherproof covers.
Check appliance power cords and extension cords. If a cord is frayed, cracked or cut, have the appliance repaired or safely dispose of the item.
Make sure appliances are “off” before you plug in or unplug power cords.
Never remove the ground pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet. This could lead to an electrical shock.
Never force a plug into an outlet. “Plugs should fit securely into outlets, but not require excessive force to be removed,” says Bagby.
Make sure to fully insert the plug into the outlet.
Use electric appliances outdoors only in dry conditions. For example, wait for the grass to dry before using an electric hedge trimmer.
Always carry a ladder horizontally. Before setting it up, check to see if power lines are located overhead or nearby. Bagby says, “Remember the 10-foot rule. Contact your electric supplier if your work area will be less than 10 feet away from a power line.”
Be alert and watch for power lines when operating tall machinery outdoors. Adjust machinery to the lowest position before moving.
Call Missouri One Call (1-800-DIG-RITE) before you dig. Power lines and other utilities may be buried nearby. Use extreme caution when using a shovel or other digging tool. Call to find out where underground utilities are buried to avoid hazards and keep vital services (electricity, telephone, water and sewer) from being disrupted.
Bagby adds, “Just use common sense when working around power lines. Look up and survey the scene around you. Also make sure to call Missouri One Call before you dig to avoid hitting a buried power line or other nearby utilities.”
Missouri law requires you to notify your electric utility when working within 10 feet of a power line. Cuivre River Electric members can contact the cooperative to assist with overhead power line safety. Just call (636) 528-8261 or (800) 392-3709.
Knowing What To Do
Knowing what to do in an electrical emergency can mean the difference between life and death. At Cuivre River Electric Cooperative we’ve become so accustomed to how electricity works for us everyday that we often take it for granted.
Each year in the United States, hundreds of people are killed and more than 10,000 people are injured from electricity incidents in the home. At work, electricity causes more than 300 deaths each year. Most electrical injuries can be avoided by taking the time to learn some safety skills.
Other safety tips specific to the workplace are offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA’s electrical standards address the government’s concern that electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard, exposing employees to such dangers as electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions.
Cuivre River Electric Safety Links
The Electric Safety Links listed below provide information you can use inside and outside your home and at your workplace.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an independent federal regulatory agency that was created in 1972 by Congress in the Consumer Product Safety Act. In that law, Congress directed the Commission to "protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products." The CPSC has jurisdiction over about 15,000 types of consumer products, from automatic-drip coffee makers to toys to lawn mowers.
The mission of the National Safety Council is to educate and influence society to adopt safety, health and environmental policies, practices and procedures that prevent and mitigate human suffering and economic losses arising from preventable causes.
The mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of America’s workers. To accomplish this, federal and state governments must work in partnership with the more than 100 million working men and women and their six and a half million employers who are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
UL is the leading third-party certification organization in the United States and the largest in North America. As a not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization, UL has been evaluating products in the interest of public safety since 1894.