It’s summer time in Kodiak! Many people will tell you it’s their favorite time of the year to be outdoors. Whatever your summer activities are – be they work or play – KEA would like to offer these annual reminders for your electrical safety:
Be aware of overhead wires! Whether you are getting your family boat ready for a leisurely day on the water or preparing your commercial vessel for an opening, make sure you maintain a minimum clearance of 10 feet from energized power lines. When stacking pots on your trailer, or operating cranes, boom trucks, and other large machinery, be aware of the power line up above. Use extreme caution when trailering boats beneath power lines, and lower all antennas and exhaust stacks if necessary. When using ladders (even wooden ones), and other long tools, be sure to keep them at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines, including the line from the power pole to your home. Electricity can jump, or arc, and it will when a potential conductor comes too close. If you are in contact with those things as well, you may become part of the path and could be electrocuted and severely injured. The best insulator is lots of space.
In many neighborhoods, power lines are buried underground. Once the lines are covered with dirt and grass, you can’t tell exactly where they are located. This can create dangerous situations when people do major digging in their yard. To avoid potential life threatening injury to yourself and others, as well as the expense and embarrassment of hitting a utility line, call 811 – the Alaska Digline – at least two working days prior to excavating to locate your utility lines. This free service ensures that all underground power lines in your yard are clearly marked so you can stay away from them when digging.
The large, green pad-mounted transformers you see in the yards of homes and businesses contain the above ground portion of an underground electrical installation. They transform high voltage electricity to low voltage electricity, which is then carried in insulated underground power lines to homes and businesses. The current-carrying parts of the pad-mounted equipment are securely locked inside the cabinet, and when left alone, these metal enclosures are harmless. Never allow children to play on or around them, and call KEA if you see a transformer box that looks damaged, unlocked or open. Stay out of substations, and keep kites and other flying toys away from overhead lines. Think Safety First!