Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. We want to help our members stay safe around power lines. Whether you are involved in farming operations, playing outdoors with your children ,or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.
- Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
- Don’t climb trees near power lines.
- Never fly kits, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.
- If you get something stuck in a power line, call your co-op to get it.
- Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
- Never touch or go near a downed power line, the line could be energized.
- Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
- Keep children and pets away.
If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local cooperative and emergency services.
The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.
As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or call your electric utility company's Service Center/Dispatch Office. Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.
When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.
If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.
When using gasoline and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfed electrical energy, and help protect utility line workers, other repair workers, or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to, at, or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.
If you're planning a project that requires digging or excavation work, make sure you know where your underground utility lines are located. Accidentally hitting utility lines can be costly and dangerous.
Before you dig, call the Ohio Utilities Services (OUPS). Underground gas lines, power lines, communication cables, water lines and other utilities can lie at various depths below the surface of the area marked for excavation. Call OUPS at 811 or (800)362-2764 at least two business days before you plan on digging.
It is recommended that if you have gas lines in the area that are owned by a small local business to contact the Ohio Oil and Gas Association 800-925-0988 to identify those lines.