No one knows electrical safety better than the experts who practice it every single day. Access Energy Cooperative encourages you to practice safety with these reminders for during and after a summer storm:

Avoid wires and water

When lightning strikes a home during a storm, the electrical charge can surge through pipes and utility wires. That means you can get zapped if you’re touching water or any device that’s plugged in whether it’s a landline phone or toaster.

Skip the makeshift shelter

During a storm, it’s tempting to take cover under trees, picnic gazebo or golf cart, but in open-sided structures with no conductors to channel strikes, a bolt’s path of least resistance to the ground could be you. On top of that, these structures raise your risk of a lightning strike because of their height.

Portable generators

Take special care with portable generators, which can provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated, can become deadly. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring.

Power from generators can back-feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including co-op line workers making repairs. It’s best to hire a qualified, licensed electrician to install your generator and ensure that it meets local electrical codes.

Flooded areas

Stay away from downed power lines at least ten feet in every direction; and avoid walking through flooded areas. Power lines could be submerged and still live with electricity. Report any downed lines you see to Access Energy Cooperative by calling 800-452-7819 immediately.

Electrical equipment

Never use electrical equipment that is wet. Water can damage electrical equipment and parts, posing a shock or fire hazard.

For a checklist to assess safety hazards around your home or to take a quick safety quiz, go to http://www.togetherwesave.com/power-of-community/safety.

Safety is our number one concern. To learn about our safety programs and tips, visit www.accessenergycoop.com.

Source: Laura Cook