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Power Line Safety
Power Line Safety
Safety is our business
Downed power line safety
Never touch a downed power line or anything that is in contact with a power line. Although it may look harmless and innocent, the line could still be energized and deadly.
Never try to move downed power lines. Objects such as brooms, boards, limbs or other non-metallic materials can still conduct electricity. Leave these situations for our professionally trained line crew.
Never drive over downed power lines. If a power line touches your vehicle as a result of an accident, do not get out. If it is necessary to leave, jump out without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time. Then shuffle away rather than taking large steps to minimize the chance of electricity flowing through the ground and then through your body. Fight the urge to run, and warn others not to run. This is because when a live wire touches the ground, electricity travels through the ground in all directions. Voltage decreases as it travels from the center where the live wire is touching the ground. If you run or take large steps, you could conduct electricity from one leg at one voltage to another leg at another voltage. This can shock or kill you.
Overhead power line safety
Overhead power lines are usually bare and not insulated. When using or carrying long objects such as ladders, pruning tools, swimming pool poles, antennas, pipes, etc., always be aware of overhead power lines and do not allow objects to touch them.
Always check for overhead power lines before putting up a ladder or antennae.
Kites or model airplanes should never be flown near overhead power lines. Do not attempt to retrieve objects that get caught in power lines and always use non-metallic string or cord to fly kites.
Never climb utility structures such as poles and never enter substations.
Underground power line safety
In areas with underground power lines there is often padmounted equipment (green boxes) located along right-of-way. Although this equipment is normally safe unless damaged, do not allow children to play on or around these objects. Stay away from damaged or open equipment and notify Salem Electric immediately.
Some homeowners like to have a screen of shrubs to block the view of padmount equipment in their yard. But Salem Electric's personnel need to have direct access to the equipment in the even of a power outage or to perform maintenance. As a result, special care must be taken to keep your plants a safe distance from this equipment. Please allow 2 feet of space on the sides and back and 10 feet of clearance in the front to allow our crews to work safely. If you have any questions, contact our office.
Heavy equipment safety
It is required that heavy equipment be operated no closer than 10 feet from overhead power lines for voltages up to 40 kV and 10 feet and 4 inches for every 1 kV over 50 kV. Contact Salem Electric before operating any heavy equipment that may be operating closer than 10 feet to a power line so we can mark or isolate lines as necessary. If heavy equipment contacts a line, the operator should avoid leaving the equipment as long as contact remains. If someone must leave heavy equipment while it is contacting power lines he should jump clear and not touch the equipment and the ground at the same time. Then shuffle away rather than taking large steps to minimize the chance of electricity flowing through the ground and then through his body. If a dump truck bed comes into contact with the lines and contact is made, simply back up or lower the bed to break the contact.
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