Electricity is a potentially dangerous force that can cause injury and death if handled improperly. Knowing how to play it safe around electricity, inside and out, can prevent accidents and fatalities.
Electric energy constantly seeks a path to ground. If you touch a power line with an object or your body, you become this path. The result can be severe injury or death.
When you are working around electric power lines, follow these rules:
- Watch where you are going or digging.
- Stay clear.
- Don't touch.
Overhead Power Line Safety
Keep all machinery, equipment, materials, and people at least 10 feet away from the lines. If it looks like the power lines will be in your way, call DMEA Dispatch at 1-970-249-4572 or 1-970-874-8081. Depending on the nature of your job, we may be able to turn off the electricity, cover the lines, or even move them while you complete your work.
Do not remove anything caught in electric lines, including animals, tree limbs, or kites. Instead, call DMEA directly and we will dispatch trained professionals to help.
Fallen power lines can be extremely dangerous. Always assume downed power lines are live. Never touch a downed power line or anyone who is in contact with it. Stay away from a vehicle if a power line is touching it. Be especially cautious at the scene of any accident. If a power line touches your vehicle, stay inside and warn others to stay away. Have bystanders call DMEA and local law enforcement. If you must get out of the vehicle for safety reasons, jump clear. Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
Never cut tree limbs that are touching power lines or that could fall into power lines after they are cut. Whenever there is doubt or uncertainty as to whether or not trees can or should be trimmed away from electric wires, please call us.
Always supervise children when they are flying kites. Kites should be flown in open fields, away from overhead power lines. If a kite becomes tangled in a power line or electrical equipment, let it go. Do not try to retrieve the kite! Do not touch the tail, string or any part of the kite. In addition, take particular care to keep mylar kites and mylar helium balloons away from power lines. Because mylar is a good conductor of electricity, these metallic kites and balloons can cause personal injury or interruptions in electrical service. The same safety rules apply when flying model airplanes or any other toy that takes to the air.
Underground Power Line Safety
Hazards that you don't see, like underground electric lines, are easy to ignore or forget. Digging, drilling or blasting can damage these underground lines and cause electrocution or fire. To avoid accidents or incidents, call 8-1-1 or 1-800-922-1987 (Utility Notification Center of Colorado). There is no charge for this service, but all locations must be called in a minimum of three business days before digging begins.
Always keep electrical toys, electrical appliances (hedge trimmers, leaf blowers,) grills, and other items clear of any water including swimming pools, fish ponds, rain, sprinklers, ditches and hoses. Remember that water and electricity are a dangerous combination.
- Never put anything other than an electric plug into an electric socket. Do not put fingers, pencils or any objects into any outlet at any time and make sure that children do not do this. Safety caps available at any discount, drug or grocery store can be placed in unused outlets for safety.
- Remove plugs from outlets by grasping the plug and not the cord. Tugging or pulling electrical cords can damage the cords and create a potential safety hazard.
- Never use any electrical appliance or device when wet, with wet hands or when standing in water.
- Keep fire extinguishers throughout the home and make sure that at least one of them is rated for electrical fires. Never attempt to put out an electrical fire with water.
- In the event of electric shock, do not attempt to provide first aid but call 9-1-1 for professional medical help immediately.