Power Line Safety
Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Runestone Electric Association wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.
Keep a Safe Distance
Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment Runestone Electric Association 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 kites, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.
- If you get something stuck in a power line, call Runestone Electric Association to get it.
- Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
Downed Power Lines
- Never touch or go near a downed power line.
- Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
- Keep children and pets away.
- Call Runestone Electric Association at 1-800-473-1722 to report downed power lines.
Vehicle Accidents and Utility Poles
If you encounter a vehicle accident involving a utility pole or power lines:
- Call 911
- Don’t touch any passenger who may be in contact with a power line.
- Don’t touch anything that’s in contact with the vehicle.
- Don’t attempt to move power lines or utility poles.
- If passengers must exit the vehicle, jump clear of it without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with feet together and shuffle away.
- Don’t rely on rubber boots, raincoats, rubber gloves or wire cutters for protection.
Safety First Day Camp
REA participates in Safety First Day Camp each spring at the Runestone Community Center. The day is filled with interactive safety-related activities for fifth graders from around the region.
Portable Electric Generators
Portable Electric Generators can offer many benefits when a long-term electrical outage occurs due to a storm. However, if generators are not used properly, things could turn deadly.
After Hurricane Katrina, for example, many people relied on generators. But the misuse of them caused five deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also reported 51 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Follow these tips to prevent misuse of portable electrical generators:
Be sure to follow manufacturers’ directions for installation and operation.
To prevent electric shock, make sure your generator is properly grounded. The operation manual should provide correct grounding procedures.
Operate electric generators or other fuel-powered machines outside where deadly carbon monoxide fumes cannot enter the home.
Use the generator only in a well-ventilated and dry area located away from air intakes to the house. Do not use a generator in an attached garage.
Do not overload the generator by operating more appliances and equipment than the generator can handle. The operating instructions should have an output rating for the generator.
Individual appliances should be plugged directly into the receptacle outlet of the generator using appropriately sized extension cords to carry the electric load. Make sure the cords are rated for outdoor use, have a grounded, three-pronged plug, and are in good condition.
Do not run extension cords under rugs.
Never connect generators directly to your home’s wiring. The reverse flow of electricity can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
Never plug a generator into a household outlet.
Do not refuel a generator while it is running.
Only store fuel outside of living areas and away from heat sources like water heater pilot lights.
Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting it down.
Keep children and pets away from generators.
Sources: Consumer Product Safety Commission, Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service