Safety outside of your home may be as simple as understanding where some likely dangers exist. Here are a few of the most dangerous and easily preventable scenarios:
Always assume that utility lines are "live" - or energized - and keep far away from them. Be especially attentive after wind, ice, or heavy snow storms when wires may have fallen to the ground.
Climbing/Playing on Electrical Equipment
Never let children climb a utility pole, a tower, or a tree near power lines. Kites or balloons that contact power lines can cause shock or fire, so fly them away from overhead lines. NEVER play on, sit on, or climb on electrical equipment of any kind.
Look up first! Ladders, regardless of what they're made of, can become electrified if brought into contact with overhead electric wires. Wooden and metal ladders can conduct electricity. Keep this in mind and use extra caution when you, or your contractor, are using a ladder while working outside around your home.
Minnesota law requires underground utilities to be located BEFORE anyone digs. Whether you are a contractor working on a site or a homeowner working around your own home, please note: digging can be dangerous if you don't check first for underground wiring, cable or other underground utilities such as natural gas lines, water, or sewer lines.
Call 811 at least three days before you plan to dig and they will locate all underground utilities on your property at no cost to you.
Don't use outdoor power tools - electric drill, hedge clipper, sander, electric mower - in the rain or while working with or on wet surfaces. Consider installing a ground fault interrupter on outside outlets.
Electric wires may be concealed in the trees or shrubs you want to trim. Before you trim trees or shrubs, inspect the area carefully to ensure that it's clear of wires.
Agralite Electric Cooperative has the right, within public or private rights-of-way and easements, to trim trees and otherwise remove obstructions that are in violation of National Electrical Safety Code requirements, or that may prohibit safe, efficient operation, or restrict safe access to electrical facilities. Trees are routinely trimmed around Agralite Electric Cooperative overhead electric distribution lines and, as required, or if requested by an individual property owner, around the service wires between the Agralite Electric Cooperative pole and the customer's meter connection.
Please contact Agralite Electric Cooperative at 800-950-8375 if you notice a tree which may be creating an electrical hazard.
Be sure electrical equipment for your swimming pool is grounded properly. If you're installing a pool, have it inspected by an electrical inspector when the job is completed. A ground fault interrupter should be installed on your pool's electrical equipment. If a fault occurs in the equipment, the interrupter will instantly cut the power, preventing a serious electric shock. Do not have any plug-in appliances near the pool.
Never construct a kite from wire or metal; always use paper or wood. That goes for the tail, too; it should only be made of dry string or cloth. Check your string or cord to make certain that it does not contain wire or carbon filament that is conductive. ALWAYS keep your kite away from electric power lines and choose a clear, dry day for kite flying. If your kite should get snagged in power lines or in a tree in which lines might be concealed, don't try to free it yourself. Call Agralite Electric Cooperative at 800-950-8375.
Antennas & Satellite Dishes
Before you work on a rooftop television or citizen's band radio antenna or install a satellite dish, be sure the area is clear of power lines. Install these devices where they won't touch or fall on electric lines.