Storm News

 

 

Barton County Electric Cooperative Storm Update

 

 

Safety During and After the Storm

In the aftermath of a major storm, be aware of hazards presented by downed power lines. If you see a power line on the ground, don't assume that it is insulated. Stay away from the wire and secure the area to keep others away, too. If you discover a low or fallen line, do the following:

  • Consider all wires ENERGIZED and dangerous. Even lines that are de-energized could become energized at any time. 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 and you are safer remaining inside until help arrives. Things 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.

 

Portable Generator Safety

Shock and Electrocution

  • Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system of structure (home, office, trailer, etc.) unless a qualified electrician has properly installed the generator with a transfer switch.
  • Always plug electrical appliances directly into the generator using the manufacturer's supplied cords or extension cords that are grounded (3-pronged). Inspect the cord to make sure they are fully intact and not damaged. Never use frayed or damaged extension cords.
  • Keep a generator dry; do not use it in the rain or in wet conditions. If needed, protect a generator with a canopy.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces, and basements.
  • Make sure a generator has three to four feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation.
  • Be cautious when using a generator outdoors to ensure it is not placed near doors, windows, and vents could allow CO to enter and build up in occupied spaces.
  • If you or others show symptoms of CO poisoning—dizziness, headaches, nausea, tiredness—get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention. Do no re-enter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel.

Fire Hazards

  • Generators become hot while running and remain hot for long periods after they are stopped. Generator fuels (gasoline, kerosene, etc.) can ignite when spilled on hot engine parts.
  • Before refueling, shut down the generator and allow it to cool.
  • Gasoline and other generator fuels should be stored and transported in approved containers that are properly designed and marked for their contents, and vented.
  • Keep fuel containers away from flame producing and heat generating devices (such as the generator itself, water heaters, cigarettes, lighters, and matches). Do not smoke around fuel containers