SMECO newsletter

volume 65 - issue 8 - august 2015

SMECO makes safety a top priority for employees and the public

Truck in lines

SMECO wants to educate you on hazard identification and necessary actions to take during emergency situations involving electric utility lines or equipment.

Downed power lines

If you encounter downed wires or equipment, the following actions are recommended to ensure your personal safety.

• Immediately call for help. Without delay, call for Emergency Medical Services (911) and report the situation.

• Stay safe! Remain a safe distance away from electrical equipment. The general rule to follow is 10 feet away for distribution voltages and 30 feet away for transmission voltages. When in doubt, stay the maximum distance away.

• Make the area safe. While staying at a safe distance from the lines or equipment, mark the hazard for other members of the general public and, if necessary, block access to the hazard, especially in instances where the lines or equipment fall across common paths of travel (roadways, sidewalks, etc.).

Vehicles in contact with downed lines or electrical equipment

If you encounter a vehicle collision with utility poles or utility equipment in which you suspect the vehicle is or may become energized, immediately call Emergency Medical Services (911) to report the situation; a SMECO crew will arrive to de-energize the equipment. From a safe distance, instruct the vehicle occupants of the following methods to stay safe:

• When possible, instruct them to stay inside the vehicle. If no fire or immediate threat exists to the vehicle occupants, the best action is to have them remain inside the vehicle until the equipment is confirmed de-energized by a qualified SMECO employee.

• If they must leave because of fire or other immediate threat, instruct them to try to drive their vehicle either forward or backward to clear themselves of the electric utility equipment. Once they are at least 30 feet away from all lines or equipment, they may exit the vehicle and receive any medical care. No one should approach any downed lines or equipment.

• If they must leave the vehicle because of fire or other immediate threat and they are unable to move their vehicle, they should try to position themselves on a flat surface of the vehicle (top of hood, trunk or bed of the vehicle) that allows them to leap from the vehicle as far as possible. It is important that they try to land with both feet on the ground without stumbling. Once they get their balance, they must shuffle their feet with both feet continually touching the ground until they are at least 30 feet from the vehicle. Once they get 30 feet away, they must remain away from the vehicle and not go back under any circumstances until the vehicle and equipment are deemed de-energized.

Visit our YouTube channel for videos that address these life-saving techniques.