Springing into Action? Make Outdoor Safety Your Top Priority
Follow these helpful tips to avoid injuries and accidents this spring
As residents begin their springtime rituals of sprucing up and painting around the house, Clarksdale Public Utilities encourages customers to brush up on safety.
“We always see an increase in injuries and accidents during springtime when people start working in their yards and on their homes,” said CPU General Manager Curtis D. Boschert. “That’s why we are reminding customers to play it safe by taking precautions to protect themselves and their families.”
Here are some safety tips to follow when working outdoors this spring:
- Look up and out for overhead power lines. Overhead power lines carry thousands of volts of electricity and are not insulated, making them deadly to touch. Staying far away from power lines is one of the most important ways you can stay safe.
- Remember, water and electricity do not mix. If it is raining or the ground is wet, do not use any electric tools. Keep electric tools and power cords far away from wet areas and never touch electrical cords or tools if you are wet or standing in water.
- 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 licensed contractor instead.
- Practice ladder safety. Just as you should keep ladders away from overhead power lines, you also should take precautions against slipping or falling. When using a ladder to reach higher areas, wear non-skid shoes and ensure that it is placed firmly on level ground. In addition, it is best to have another adult hold the ladder for you.
- Support tree-trimming efforts. CPU is committed to trimming trees that are too close to power lines and may be likely to cause power outages or create safety issues. If you see a tree or branch that looks dangerously close to the power lines running from pole to pole, call CPU at 662-627-8499 and report it.
- Plant the right trees in the right place. When adding new trees to your landscaping, consider placement and tree height at maturity, and avoid planting trees that will grow tall under power lines or cause damage in a storm.
- Always assume power lines are electrified, even if they are down and do not spark or hum, and especially if they are hidden under debris or downed branches. The safest thing to do is to stay far away and call us at 662-627-8499, or 911 after hours.
- Call before you dig. It is important to know what is underground before you begin any project that requires digging. Hitting an electric line can shock or kill you and cause power outages as well. When you call 811, the local one-call utility locator service, they will mark the location of all underground utilities so you can safely dig.
- Light it up. Make sure your outdoor lighting adequately illuminates walkways to prevent tripping hazards after dark and that your bulbs are intended for outdoor use. If you need to replace them, opt for energy-efficient bulbs to help lower bills at the same time.
- Check outdoor outlets. During the wet winter months, moisture can trickle into uncovered outlets. Before you plug in that electrical cord or power tool, be sure to check outdoor outlets for signs of damage and make sure they are properly covered year-round.
For more information about staying safe around power lines, visit safeelectricity.org, a public-awareness program of the Energy Education Council. In addition, the National Safety Council offers seasonal safety tips, such as checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, updating fire extinguishers and reviewing your home emergency plans.
Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 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.