Call Before You Dig
Whether you are taking on the project yourself or hiring a professional, all projects that involve breaking ground must be investigated to determine whether there are underground utility lines. Utility lines can be costly to repair, have the potential to disrupt an entire neighborhood and may also cause injury to you. Utility lines can be found at multiple depths in various areas—making the assumption that you are safe to dig is unacceptable.
If you do not want to be the one responsible for creating a power outage for you and your neighbors or seriously injuring yourself, call 811 before you dig! Kansas One-Call will take your request and direct your call to the utility company that is affected by your dig. A utility professional will be out to mark your lines free of charge and you will be able to avoid the hassle and danger of hitting an underground utility line.
Safety begins with proper wiring. Follow these electric safety tips:
- Qualified electricians should install and check wiring.
- Homes should be 100-amps; 200+-amps for homes heated electrically.
- Electric appliances should have three-prong plugs.
- Never wrap cords around metal. Keep them away from foot traffic.
- Weatherproof outdoor electric outlets.
- Major electric appliances should have their own circuits.
- Never use appliances when you are wet or on a wet surface.
- Never use electric tools/appliances outdoors if it is raining or wet.
- Always use moisture-resistant appliance cords outside.
- Use power tools with durable, grounded or double insulated cords.
- Never operate an electric lawn mower in wet grass.
- Teach your children not to fly kites near power lines.
- Never touch fallen electric wires. They may be energized.
- Never enter a power substation.
- Ground antennas. Install antenna (2x) its height from power lines.
- Never use any type of metal equipment near power lines.
- Show your family where the main fuse/circuit breaker is located.
- Inspect cords. Immediately replace, not patch, damaged ones.
- Never pull a plug from a wall outlet by the cord. Grasp the plug.
- Unplug irons and heat appliances when they are not in use.
- Plug power tools or heavy appliances into wall outlets only.
- Don’t touch anything electrical if your hands are wet or you are standing on a wet surface.
- Never put anything except a plug into a wall outlet. Check with your local electric cooperative to see if they have outlet covers and place them over your outlets. This will help protect you and children.
- Don’t set radios or appliances where they could fall into the bathtub, shower, or sink.
- Unplug small appliances such as toasters, coffeemakers, etc., when not in use.
- Stay away from trees near overhead lines. The wind or your own weight could make a limb touch a line and carry the electricity to you. Even the slightest touch could cause injury or death.
- Never climb or stand under any tree in bad weather.
- Don’t climb on or near substations or utility poles. If any pad-mounted electric transformers (those green boxes that sit on the ground) appear to be opened or damaged, stay away and call your local electric cooperative immediately!
- If you see a downed line, stay away from it and keep others away too. Call your local electric cooperative immediately!
If you plan to use a portable generator, here are some important safety precautions:
- First, locate your generator in a well ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly.
- Second, plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords. Make sure that extension cords are not frayed or worn. Do not connect your power generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. Limit the number of appliances you use to no more than the recommended wattage of the generator.
- Read all instructions carefully and follow the manufacturers recommendations. Use the generator only when necessary, and don't overload it. Turn it off at night while you sleep and when you are away from home, to avoid possible fire hazard.
For your safety .... the safety of neighbors, and the safety of Lane-Scott employees working to restore electricity do not attempt to connect your generator to your home wiring.
If you have any doubts about how to properly use a portable electric generator, contact the manufacturer or a licensed electrician for assistance.
According to Lane-Scott Electric, there's something you can do to determine if your home is ready to receive power when crews arrive ... Or if you need to call an electrician for repairs ahead of time:
- If your home is served by overhead power lines, look at the metal pipe above your electric meter where the power line is or would connect to your house. This is called the weatherhead and it is part of your home wiring system. If you see any damage to the weatherhead, to the pipe that carries the wire down to the meter, or to the meter can that surrounds the meter, you may need to call a licensed electrician.
- If your home is served by underground lines, look at the metal meter box and the pipe that extends down into the ground. Again, if you see any damage, you may need to call a licensed electrician.
- If there is damage to the Lane-Scott meter itself, utility crews will repair or replace it. Make your visual inspection carefully. Do not touch any electrical equipment or lines around the electrical equipment. If the weatherhead appears bent or loose, the Lane-Scott electrician will make a closer inspection and repairs.
Promoting safety and controlling losses is a priority at Lane-Scott Electric. Time spent working on “hot” lines has increased, therefore, special effort is being given to training and educating linemen to perform their jobs safely and efficiently. Safety professionals from Kansas Electric Cooperatives (KEC), Topeka, Kansas conduct regular safety meetings to ensure that Lane-Scott is meeting safety requirements. Lane-Scott headquarters are also expected to meet the standard of safety by following Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
Equipment used during outages and regular line maintenance is routinely checked to make sure that it is not faulty and potentially dangerous. In addition, linemen are tested annually on their ability to perform a pole-top rescue and a bucket rescue.
Special interest is paid to 'No-lost time' hours. No-lost time refers to the number of hours that have been put in on the job without any lost time due to accidents or injury. Lane-Scott continues to strive for no-lost time hours because the result is that their employees are returning home safely to their families at the end of the day. As of December 31, 2007 Lane-Scott Electric has 389,511 No-Lost Time hours.