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Ken's Weekly E-Tip: May is Electrical Safety Month

May is designated National Electrical Safety Month. Each year 43,900 home fires result in 438 deaths, 1,430 injuries, and $1.47 billion in property losses. Central Electric Cooperative (CEC) puts safety first and foremost in everything we do in providing energy you need. So let us review how everyone can make safety a high priority around our homes.

 

Safety Tips for Your Home    

Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacles in bathrooms, kitchens, basements and garages. Any appliance plugged into a GFCI outlet will interrupt power should an appliance experience a short circuit.

If at all possible, avoid using extension cords. If you do use them, make sure they are adequately sized for the equipment plugged into them. Check cords for frays and cuts frequently.

Use correctly sized power strips when operating multiple appliances. Remember, surge protector strips do not provide protection from overloaded circuits.

Only plug in one heat-producing appliance per receptacle.

Never place cords under carpets, high traffic areas or doorways where they pose a tripping hazard.

Ensure all electrical devices and equipment in your home are certified by a nationally recognized testing lab such as UL, CSA or ETL.

Check lighting fixtures to make sure proper wattage lamps are installed. LED and CFL energy efficient replacement bulbs make great choices because their wattage draw is much less than similar illumination from incandescent lamps. 

Always match breaker or fuse size to the wire size of the circuit.  

 

Safety Outdoors

Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines. If you must work close to CEC's service drop, we will be glad to install protective equipment to keep you safe. Just call 800-521-0570.

 

Always remember to:

Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.

Don't climb trees near power lines.

Never fly kites, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines. Never attempt to remove any similar objects tangled in power lines. Call CEC and we will be glad to assist you.

Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines (10 feet is recommended) when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.

Never touch or go near a downed power line. Treat ALL downed wires as potentially dangerous and call 800-282-8610 to report them.

Don't touch anything that may be contacting a downed wire, such as a car or tree branch.

Keep children and pets away.

 

Power Line Hazards and Vehicles

All occupants should remain in a vehicle involved with a downed power line. Warn those who may assist to stay at least 30 feet away and call 911. 

The only circumstance in which occupants should consider leaving a vehicle is if fire is eminent. 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 when touching the ground. 

The ground around the vehicle may be energized. To avoid a dangerous condition called "step potential, shuffle both feet closely together for at least 30 feet while moving away from the vehicle to avoid an electrical shock.

 

Electrical Safety Programs

CEC is pleased to offer electrical safety programs to elementary schools in our service territory. This in-class presentation is designed for fourth or fifth grade students and includes a table-top demonstration and handouts. The presentation is approximately 40 minutes long.

We also offer a live, high-voltage demonstration appropriate for older students, adult groups and first responders at our headquarters in Parker.

If you are interested in either one of these programs and would like more information, please contact Matt Alderson at 800-521-0570 x 2162 or email malderson@central.coop.

 

Earn $50 Bill Credit

Let CEC install a load control device on your electric water heater and earn a $50 one-time bill credit and a monthly $2.50 bill credit. Call 800-521-0570 x2195 to learn more. Members having a water heater installed by the cooperative are not eligible for the credits.

 

Twitter and Load Control  

Participants in our load control program for electric heat and water heaters can find out when and how long control periods are predicted by logging onto www.central.coop and clicking our Twitter logo. Please remember that these are only predictions and actual times may vary.

 

Annual Meeting

All CEC members are invited to attend its 80th anniversary celebration and annual meeting, Friday, Aug. 25 at Whitehall Camp and Conference Center in Emlenton. Learn more by visiting www.central.coop. 

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