At 4 Rivers, we recognize Electrical Safety Month every May, but we also know the importance of practicing safety year-round. From our co-op crews to you — the members we serve — we recognize that everyone has a part to play in prioritizing safety.
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured or electrocuted because of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. Electricity is a necessity and powers our daily lives. However, we know firsthand how dangerous electricity is because we work with it every day of the year.
To me, safety is more than a catchphrase. As CEO, it’s my responsibility to keep our employees safe. We do employee safety training on a very regular basis. Additionally, we want to help keep you and all members of our community safe. That is why you will see 4 Rivers hosting safety demonstrations throughout the year, to educate others about the dangers of electricity. We discuss emergency scenarios, such as what to do in a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines. We caution attendees on the dangers of pad-mounted transformers and overloading circuits with too many electronic devices.
Electricity is an integral part of modern life. Given the number of electrical devices, tools and appliances used every day to make our lives better, I would like to pass along a few practical electrical safety tips.
FRAYED WIRES POSE A SERIOUS SAFETY HAZARD. Power cords can become damaged or frayed from age, heavy use, or excessive current flow through the wiring. If cords become frayed or cut, replace them, as they could cause a shock when handled or even become a fire hazard.
AVOID OVERLOADING CIRCUITS. Circuits can only cope with a limited amount of electricity. Overload happens when you draw more electricity than a circuit can safely handle — by having too many devices running on one circuit.
LABEL CIRCUIT BREAKERS TO UNDERSTAND THE CIRCUITS IN YOUR HOME. Contact a qualified electrician if your home is more than 40 years old, and you need to install multiple large appliances that consume large amounts of electricity.
USE EXTENSION CORDS PROPERLY. Never plug an extension cord into another extension cord. If you string multiple cords together, it could lead to overheating, creating a potential fire hazard. Don’t exceed the wattage of the cord. Doing so also creates a risk of overloading the cord and creating a fire hazard. Extension cords should not be used as permanent solutions. If you need additional outlets, contact a licensed electrician to help.
I encourage you to talk with your kids about playing it safe and smart around electricity. Help them be aware of overhead power lines near where they play outdoors.
One of our top priorities is providing an uninterrupted energy supply 24/7, 365 days per year. Equally important is keeping our community safe around electricity.
Contact 4 Rivers Electric for additional electrical safety tips or if you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school or upcoming community event.
On another safety issue, we have contract crews providing vegetation management under and around our power lines. We do this for both power quality and safety. There are many dangers of having trees in the power lines, so we appreciate cooperation when we must clear the right-of-way areas. If you have trees in our lines, do not attempt to cut them yourself. Please contact us, so we can safely remove them.
Dennis Svanes, General Manager/CEO