Be safer around electricity when a storm hits
Colorado's often violent weather can cause electric power outages any time of the year. Wind, lightning, snow an dice are the usual culprits--knocking down trees, breaking power lines and sometimes toppling utility poles.
Storm-related power outages are often wide spread, with significant amounts of damage affecting many people over a large area. LPC has an emergency response plan for major storm power outages and regularly conducts emergency response exercises.
Even with planning and preparation, however, the complete restoration of power after a severe storm may take several hours to several days. During that time, it is very important for citizens to be aware of electric safety hazards and take the following precautions to prevent injury or even death:
- Stay away from downed lines of any kind. You don't have to touch a live electric line to get electrocuted. Electricity will travel through many substances and can even "jump" short distances through the air to get to the ground.
- Call 911 or LPC at 303-651-8386 to report downed lines, trees or branches on lines, lines that are arcing or sparking, and broken utility poles. LPC will prioritize its response to make sure power is disconnected from downed or broken lines that are a public safety hazard.
- Do not attempt to trim or remove trees or tree branches that may be in contact with power lines. Electricity can travel through trees and broken branches. Stay away from trees in power lines until LPC personnel make sure it is safe.
- Do not connect a generator directly to your home or business wiring without a "transfer" or "bypass" switch that disconnects your wiring from the utility electric system. Electric back feed from a generator can create a deadly situation for utility line workers. Contact a licensed electrician of the safe and proper installation of a generator.
LPC offers free electrical safety demonstrations and materials to schools, businesses, civic groups and community organizations. Click here to learn more about these demonstrations.