brandon lundeDakota Electric’s top priority is to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy. Since May is National Electrical Safety Month, and with storm season approaching, I’d like to share a few safety tips that could save your life.

Life-saving tips
If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle could become energized so it’s critical to stay in the vehicle until emergency crews say it’s safe to exit. If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving until you are at least 40 feet away.

Likewise, if you come upon a car accident involving a utility pole, stay at least 40 feet away and keep others away. While you may be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to alert emergency officials, who will coordinate with the power provider. And never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line.

If you have a downed power line on your property as a result of a fallen tree, storm or other event, do not go near. Always assume a downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move a power line, even if you think it’s not energized. We recognize that you may be anxious to clear your property of tree limbs or other debris, but please wait until a utility crew or emergency officials confirm it is safe to do so.

May is Electrical Safety Month
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, each year thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured or die as a result of electrical contact, fires and accidents in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable.

We know first-hand how dangerous electricity can be. To me, safety is more than a catch phrase. I view it as everyone’s duty and responsibility to keep our communities and employees safe.

Visit www.dakotaelectric. com/safety/power-line-safety for additonal safety tips, or contact us to request a safety demonstration at your school or community event.

It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Brandon Lunde, Manager of Safety Services