As the weather begins to warm up, kids and adults alike will soon head outside to play and perform winter clean-up. Before you do, remember to look up and be alert for power lines and other electrical hazards, the best way to stay safe from electrocution—and even death.
- Never fly a kite on a rainy day or anywhere but an open space. A high point in the sky makes a kite a grounding point for lightning, and kites could easily become tangled in power lines. If the kite is headed towards power lines, let go!
- Don’t climb trees that are near power lines and poles — evergreens can disguise dangers this time of year; leaves during the spring and summer.
- Stay far away from power lines lying on the ground. You can’t tell if electricity is still flowing through them.
- Obey signs that say “danger” and “keep out” around large electrical equipment, like substations. These signs aren’t warnings; they’re commands to keep you safe.
- Never climb a power pole or play on pad mount transformers (those green boxes).
- If power lines run through your trees, call Bartholomew County REMC — professional tree trimmers with proper protective equipment can trim branches safely.
- Remember that power lines and other utilities run underground, too. Call 811 to have utility lines marked before you start digging.
- Starting that winter cleanup yard work? Sweep dried leaves and debris from outdoor receptacles.
- If they’re not already, consider upgrading your outdoor receptacles — or any outlets that could come in contact with water — to ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs immediately interrupt power flow when a plugged-in device comes in contact with water. Regardless, keep your outlets and cords dry and covered outside.
- Use only weather-resistant, heavy-duty extension cords marked for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave outdoor power tools unattended for curious children or animals to find.