A POWERFUL FORCE
Electricity makes so many things possible, and is ever present in our homes, at work and at play, we often take it for granted. But because it is so powerful, it's important that we always exercise caution when using it.
Make this and every season a safe one by remembering:
- Electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Don't leave plugged in appliances where they might fall in contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out - even if it's turned off. First turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
- If you see a downed line, don't touch it! Call Kiwash Electric Cooperative immediately.
- Keep kites and other objects away from overhead power lines.
- Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating for their circuit. If you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same size fuse.
- The best place to be during a thunderstorm is stay inside. When you see a storm approaching, seek shelter right away. Lightning often precedes rain and can strike as far as 10 miles away from the rain of a thunderstorm. Seek shelter immediately when thunder is heard - avoid trees or tall objects, high ground, water, open spaces and metal objects such as tools, fences and umbrellas. Remaining inside a vehicle is safe because rubber tires are nonconductive. When indoors, shut off appliances and electronic devices and avoid using the telephone.
Research shows (and every farmer knows) that farming is a hazardous occupation. These hazards include electric shock, which can cause farm worker fatalities. Many farm workers have been seriously injured as a result of contacting power lines while moving or installing equipment. With the widespread use of electricity on today's farming operations, we believe you should be aware of the potential dangers involved in using it.
Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions. Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housings. If damaged, stop using it immediately. Repair it or replace it. Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use. Since metal ladders conduct electricity, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.
THE 10 FOOT RULE
The 10 foot rule refers to the distance extending ten feet in every direction from any power line. It's the distance you should observe when you're working outdoors with equipment or machinery such as a crane, forklift, backhoe, dump truck, television antenna, drilling rig or skid loader. It's an important rule to remember.
WHEN POWER GOES OFF
- Check Household fuses or circuit breaker box
- Check with neighbors to see if their electricity is off
- Call 580-832-3361 or toll free 1-888-832-3362, Kiwash dispatchers will answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- For better service, report line trouble as soon as it occurs
DOWNED POWER LINES
STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES AND BROKEN POLES!
No matter how well Kiwash Electric Cooperative is prepared, we cannot avoid occasional downed power lines. Weather conditions and accidents are the main causes of downed power lines. If you come across a downed power line or broken pole you should stay as far away from it as possible. Treat all downed wires as if they are "live" and you could be electrocuted. Never attempt to touch or move a downed power line or to remove trees from power lines. Remember even a "dead" line may be re-energized unexpectedly by automatic equipment. All downed power lines and broken poles should be reported to the Cooperative immediately.
We will send someone out to make sure the line is de-energized, repair it and restore power as quickly as possible. If the wire belongs to another utility company we will notify them of the problem. Please stay away from downed lines even if you know they are not electric lines. The downed line could have come in contact with an electric line when it fell causing the downed line to be hot.
Electricity is a powerful force in all our lives. It makes so many things possible, and is so ever present in our homes, at work and at play, we often take it for granted. But because it is so powerful, it's important that we always exercise caution when using it. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN
Even when we're being as careful as we can, accidents happen. If someone does get shocked, you can help them -- and yourself -- by remembering the following tips:
- When someone receives an electrical shock, their breathing and heartbeat could stop. Even small electric currents can damage or prove fatal to the brain, heart and lungs. Electric shocks can also burn skin, nerves, tissue and muscles inside the body.
- If a person has been shocked, whether indoors or outdoors, do NOT touch the person or attempt to move them. Turn off the main source of power and immediately call 911. If the victim is not breathing or their heart has stopped, be absolutely sure they are no longer connected to the source of the shock, then begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or CPR.
For more information visit the National Electric Safety Foundation.
BEFORE YOU INSTALL A GENERATOR - READ THIS PLEASE!
A storm or high winds can knock out your electric service leaving you without power. A generator will definitely help avoid any loss or inconvenience resulting from an extensive power outage and our staff can assist you with information on purchasing the right generator for your needs. However, unless safely installed a generator can cause serious injury or death to power line workers or to your family due to back-feeding. Improper installation also risks damage to the generator when electrical service is restored.
AVOID DANGER OF BACK-FEEDING - USE A TRANSFER SWITCH
If the generator is not properly wired into the home there is a danger of back-feeding electricity into Kiwash Electric Cooperative’s system. This is very dangerous and could result in serious injury or death to anyone coming into contact with electric lines while working to restore power in an emergency.
To properly install a standby generator large enough to power a whole house, a double-throw disconnect is needed to isolate your new temporary power source from the main power lines feeding your home. A double-throw switch must be sized according to the rating of your service entrance equipment. To insure proper installation of a standby generator and compliance with electrical code, please contact a qualified, licensed electrician.
UNDERSTANDING THE RISK AND AVOIDING TRAGIC ACCIDENTS
When you use electricity from Kiwash Electric Cooperative Services' lines, the transformer at your location steps the voltage down from 7,200 to the 120 and 240 volts used in your home. When you run a generator without a double-throw switch installed on your system, you may feed 120 volt current back into the transformer. The transformer then steps the voltage up to 7,200 potentially giving a lethal shock to anyone who contacts a damaged power line that may be lying on the ground. Think of a suddenly energized downed power line and the lineperson repairing it, or a downed power line on a fence and the neighbor's animals brushing against it. Please consider the safety of your neighbors and their children, and have your generator installed by a licensed electrician.
HOME SAFE HOME
- Bathroom safety - Use extra caution when using appliances near water. Hair dryers, curling irons, electric razors, radios and television sets should be kept away from the sink and tub. If an appliance falls into the water, unplug it first. NEVER reach into water to retrieve an appliance without unplugging it first. During an electrical storm, do not use appliances such as hairdryers or telephones (except in an emergency); and do not take a bath or shower.
- Kitchen safety - Never stick a metal object such as a knife into a toaster to retrieve a piece of toast without unplugging it first. Keep kitchen appliances away from the sink. If a toaster, radio or other appliance does fall into a sink with water in it, unplug the appliance before retrieving it. During an electrical storm, do not use appliances (i.e., toasters and radios) or telephones (except in an emergency)
Appliances - If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
- Light - Use light bulbs that are the proper wattage for your light fixtures and lamps. Bulbs which are not proper wattage can overheat causing a fire. Replace light bulbs when they burn out. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat. And never leave an empty socket!
- Halogen Floor Lamps - Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials. Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time and never use torchiere lamps in children's bedrooms or playrooms.
- Space heaters - Exercise extreme caution when using space heaters. Make sure they are three or four feet away from any flammable object. Keep space heaters at least 3 ft. away from any combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture and rugs. Don't use in rooms where children are unsupervised and remember to turn off and unplug when not in use. The space heater should have a three-prong grounded plug and be used in a three-hole outlet. Turn off a space heater when your leave the room or go to bed at night. Space Heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat only.
- Electric blankets - Check your blanket for broken or frayed cords. Also, do not tuck an electric blanket in at the sides of the bed as this can break the internal heating coils, potentially causing a fire. It is a good idea to warm the bed with an electric blanket and then turn it off once you are ready to go to sleep. An electric blanket, even on a low setting, can cause burns.
- Outlets - Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire. Replace any missing or broken wall plates. When small children and pets are present in a home, or visit frequently, it is wise to keep outlets covered with plastic covers. These prevent children from accidentally sticking something in the outlet and suffering a shock.
- Plugs - Make sure your plugs fit your outlets. Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet; this could lead to an electrical shock. NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IF IT DOESN'T FIT. Plugs should fit securely into outlets. Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances.
Cords - Make sure cords are in good conditions - not frayed or cracked. Make sure they are placed out of traffic areas. Cords should never be nailed or stapled to the wall, baseboard or to another object. Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on them.
- Extension Cords - Check to see that cords are not overloaded. Additionally, extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intended as permanent household wiring. Make sure extension cords have safety closures to help prevent young children from shock hazards and mouth burn injuries.
- Fuses and Circuit Breakers - Fuses and circuit breakers should be the correct size for the circuit. Always replace fuses with another correct size fuse for the circuit. If you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) - GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. They should be used in any area where water and electricity may come into contact. When a GFCI senses current leakage in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. It then interrupts power fast enough to help prevent serious injury from electrical shock. Test GFCIs regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions to make sure they are working properly.
- Water and Electricity Don't Mix - Don't leave plugged in appliances where they might fall in contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, NEVER reach in to pull it out - even if it's turned off. First turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
- Entertainment/Computer Equipment - Check to see that the equipment is in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors. Use a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
- Outdoor Safety - Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions. Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housings. If damaged, stop using it immediately. Repair it or replace it. Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use. Since metal ladders conduct electricity, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.
CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY TIPS
- Install a carbon monoxide detector that sounds an audible alarm near each sleeping area.
- Check all venting systems to the outside to make certain they're free of obstructions.
- Have gas appliances services annually. Better yet, replace them with electric appliances that produce no carbon monoxide.
- Never use barbecue grills indoors.
- Do not run your vehicle in an attached garage with the door closed.
- Seal cracks and other openings in your house foundation. This will limit the flow of radon into your home and reduce the loss of conditioned air.
- Install an air-to-air heat exchanger to increase ventilation.
- Inspect your home each year at the beginning of the heating season.