Helping you stay safe during and after storms is a big concern for us.
No one knows electrical safety better than the experts who practice it every single day. Eastern Illini encourages you to always think safety first when it comes to electricity. The following reminders are designed to help you stay safe during and after a storm or accident.
Our friends at Puget Sound Energy put together this great video about staying safe during an automobile accident involving power lines. They graciously allowed us to show it here.
Avoid wires and water
When lightning strikes a home during a storm, the electrical charge can surge through pipes and utility wires. That means you can get zapped if you’re touching water or any device that’s plugged in, whether it’s a landline phone or a toaster.
Skip the makeshift shelter
During a storm, it’s tempting to take cover under a picnic gazebo or golf cart, but in open-sided structures with no conductors to channel strikes, a bolt’s path of least resistance to the ground could be you. On top of that, these structures raise your risk of a lightning strike because of their height. Keep moving toward suitable shelter.
Take special care with portable generators, which can provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated, can become deadly. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back-feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including Eastern Illini’s linemen making repairs.
It’s best to hire a qualified, licensed electrician to install your generator and ensure that it meets local electrical codes.
Stay away from downed power lines and avoid walking through flooded areas. Power lines could be submerged and still be live with electricity. Report any downed lines you see by calling 800-824-5102 immediately.
Never use electrical equipment that is wet – especially outdoor electrical equipment, which could be a potential danger after a summer storm. Water can damage electrical equipment, posing a shock or fire hazard.
For a checklist to assess safety hazards around your home or to take a quick safety quiz, go to www.togetherwesave.com/power-of-community/safety.