No one knows electrical safety better than the experts who practice it every single day. East-Central Iowa REC 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 a 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. Keep moving toward suitable shelter.
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 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 and avoid walking through flooded areas. Power lines could be submerged and still live with electricity. Report any downed lines you see to ECI REC by calling 877-850-4343 immediately.
Electrical equipment - Never use electrical equipment that is wet, especially outdoor electrical equipment, which could be a potential danger after a summer storm. Water can damage electrical equipment and parts, posing a shock or fire hazard.
ECI REC has been a proud member of Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives since 2004. Along with 750 electric cooperatives nationwide, we have partnered with Touchstone Energy to put safety as our number one concern. 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.