No one knows electrical safety better than the experts who practice it every single day. Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative encourages you to practice safety with these reminders — for during and after a summer storm.
Avoid Wires and Water
A lightning strike at home during a storm can cause an electrical charge to 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
It may be tempting to take cover in a storm under a picnic gazebo or golf cart, but open-sided structures with no conductors to channel strikes mean 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.
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.
Stay away from downed power lines and avoid walking through flooded areas. Power lines could be submerged yet still be live with electricity. Report any downed lines to your local utility company immediately.
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.
For more information go to yvec.com.
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