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Safety

PUD 1 recognized for outstanding safety efforts by Northwest Public Power Association

Tracy Colard, Director of Operations-Electric
Tracy Colard, Director of Operations-Electric (center) accepts PUD 1’s safety award from NWPPA.

Avoid Fallen Power Lines

Downed lines are dangerous! Consider all wires ENERGIZED; even lines that are de-energized could become energized at any time. Observe the minimum approach distance of 10 feet. A live wire touching the ground can cause electricity to travel through the ground, radiating outward from the contact point. STAY CLEAR!

DO NOT attempt to remove a tree limb or other object from a power line. Electricity can travel through limbs, especially when they are wet. When cleaning up after the storm, make absolutely sure that no power lines are near before cutting or trimming damaged trees and removing debris from your property.

If a broken power line should fall on your vehicle, stay inside the vehicle. Use your cell phone to call for help. The vehicle can become energized; you are safer remaining inside until help arrives. Metal objects like fences and guardrails can also become energized if a downed power line contacts them. Warn others not to approach or touch the vehicle, and have them call for help.

If you MUST get out of the vehicle because of fire or other life-threatening hazards, jump clear of the vehicle so that you do not touch any part of it and the ground at the same time. Jump as far as possible away from the vehicle with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. Once you clear the vehicle, shuffle away, with both feet on the ground, or hop away, with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. Do not run away from the vehicle as the electricity forms rings of different voltages. Running may cause your legs to “bridge” current from a higher ring to a lower voltage ring. This could result in a shock. Get a safe distance away.

If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don’t try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 for help.

For Life Support Customers

If you or someone in your home is on life support, please make sure the PUD has your phone number and the type of life support you require. We will attempt notify you when we are having a planned outage, so you can make arrangements. In the event the power goes out due to a storm or other unknown problem, we will attempt to do our best to get your power back on as quickly as possible.

When we have an outage, our staff notifies the crew that we have a life support situation. We will try to contact you with as much information as we have available to keep you informed of the possible time involved to repair the problem. You should have some sort of emergency back-up system if the power does go out. If you do not have enough back up to keep your equipment running, please call 911 before the situation becomes too serious.

If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don’t try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 for help.

Standby Generator Use

Improper installation can seriously injure or kill our linemen!

A generator is useful in the event of a prolonged power outage, although improper use presents a deadly safety hazard. Portable generators are intended to serve as a power source for just a few lights or appliances during an extended outage. A generator plugged into your electric system without professional installation can back feed electricity into the PUD’s system and energize dead lines with high voltage. This could result in serious injury or death for electrical line workers who think the lines are dead.

Plug appliances directly into the generator. Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet or electrical circuit. The total electric load on your generator must not exceed the manufacturer’s rating. Please be cautious and follow the manufacturer’s suggestions when using a generator.

If you have purchased a portable generator for the storm season, please follow these important safety rules:

  • Before installing your new generator be sure to read all the instructions and safety material from the manufacturer.
  • Make sure the generator is installed properly. Improper installation or operation can cause severe injury or result in death.
  • If you connect appliances to your portable generator, use an appropriately sized extension cord in good condition. If an extension cord is the wrong size or in poor condition, it could become a fire hazard.
  • If you want your generator connected to your home electrical system, call a professional. Proper disconnect switches must be installed and you must use them to isolate your home from our power grid. If switches are not connected properly, a back feed of electricity can occur to our distribution lines and possibly injure or result in death of a line worker.
  • Keep the portable generator outside or in a well ventilated garage. Store fuels safely and keep them away from children. Improper ventilation and storage of your generator or fuel could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • To have a safe storm season, follow these simple rules if you have a portable generator.

Outage Preparation

Your Outage Kit:

Please remember that outages are unpleasant and can occur anytime of the year, for any number of reasons. But if you plan ahead and always keep emergency items on hand it is much easier to endure.

Your outage kit should include:

  • Clean drinking water
  • Canned/packed food
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Portable Radio
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Candles and matches (never leave unattended)
  • Oil lamps and oil (never leave unattended)
  • Barbeque for outside cooking (never leave unattended and never use to heat the inside of your house, as it causes the house to fill up with carbon monoxide).
  • AND- TURN OFF YOUR WATER HEATER! They draw a lot of power and when your home is re-energized, it could fry your heater and they are expensive to replace!

Water Cross Connection Controls

Do you fill up your swimming pool with a garden hose? You may be contaminating your drinking water…

Cross connections are physical or potential physical connections that could allow liquid, solid or gas to flow into the water system if the system lost pressure or if the pressure on your side was greater than the system’s pressure.

Potential residential cross connections include: irrigation systems, garden drip systems, swimming pools, decorative ponds, private wells, hose bibs and fire sprinklers. Cross connections can contaminate the water supply and make you and your neighbors ill and potentially cause death.

If your property has not been inspected and you have any of the potential cross connections listed above or a home-based business that uses water, please contact the PUD to schedule an appointment for a free inspection with one of the District’s Cross Connection Control Specialists (CCCS).