CPU Urges Customers to Play It Safe This Spring

Safe work practices can protect you and your family from multiple hazards

CLARKSDALE - For many Clarksdale residents, the arrival of spring means planting flowers, trimming trees, cleaning storm gutters and starting home renovation projects. Clarksdale Public Utilities reminds customers that even though these spring-cleaning rituals may seem harmless, many can pose significant safety hazards.

“Injuries and accidents tend to increase during springtime when people are outdoors working in their yards and on their homes,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “We’re reminding customers to play it safe by taking precautions to protect themselves and their families.”

Spring in Mississippi also is a season of unpredictable weather systems, blustery storms and tornadoes — an important reason for residents to stay away from power lines.

CPU reminds customers to follow these safety practices when working outdoors this spring:

  • Look up and around. Always be aware of the location of power lines, particularly when using long tools like ladders, pool skimmers and pruning poles. Be especially careful when working near power lines attached to your house, keeping in mind that wind can blow large objects out of your control.
  • Call 811 before you dig: But before you start digging, know the hazards. Call 811 at least three days before installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree or any other digging activity to have professional locators mark utility-owned underground lines.
  • Stay at least 10 feet from power lines. This applies to your body and your equipment. Even if you don’t come in contact with a power line, electricity can arc to nearby objects and people, causing grave and even fatal injuries. Also, carry your ladder horizontally. It’s easier on your back and safer when working around power lines.
  • Be careful when working on or around your roof. That includes installing or cleaning gutters, installing rooftop antennas and satellite dishes, or making repairs. Never use water or blower extensions to clean gutters near electric lines. Play it safe and contact a professional maintenance contractor.
  • Keep vegetation away from power lines. Inspect your property closely for trees and branches that may be growing dangerously close to power lines. By proactively trimming trees and large bushes, you can prevent unnecessary power outages during the high-wind storm season.
  • Never trim or climb trees near power lines. Leave that to the professionals.
  • Check outdoor outlets. During rainy winter months, moisture can trickle into uncovered outlets. Be sure to check outside outlets for signs of damage and make sure they’re covered properly year-round.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is not expired. Fire extinguishers lose their charge over time. Inspect your fire extinguisher to make sure it can put out an electrical fire and that it hasn’t lost its charge.

Customers may visit the website of Safe Electricity (, a public awareness program of the Energy Education Council, for more information about staying safe around power lines.

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,500 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

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For more than 125 years, Clarksdale Public Utilities has supplied utility services that support our community’s growth, vibrance and quality of life. But we are more than a provider of reliable and affordable electric, water and wastewater services — we are your family, friends and neighbors. We are people who care. We are CPU.

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