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What you don’t see can hurt you a lot

Pacific Power offers safety tips

Warmer weather is drawing Yakima Valley residents outdoors for fun as well as home and yard maintenance projects.

Before you reach for that ladder, extended pruner or fielder’s glove, be conscious of overhead power line locations.

“It is easy to forget that the power lines supplying your house are potentially dangerous,” said Gene Morris, Pacific Power’s director of health, safety and environment. “Simply moving a metal ladder without being aware of what is overhead could be deadly. Even a momentary electrical contact can have devastating results.”

Pacific Power urges its customers to take simple precautions when working or playing outside to help ensure their safety:

Look up and live.

  • Note the location of overhead electrical wires while working and when moving equipment, as well as when installing, removing, cleaning or repairing rain gutters.

  • Check for nearby electrical wires when pruning trees. If lines run through or near your tree, don’t attempt to cut branches or limbs. Instead, you should call Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070.

  • When painting a house, note where power lines connect to the house and keep ladders, scaffolding and other equipment away from lines.

  • If moving, adjusting or installing an antenna or satellite dish, keep well away from electrical wires.

  • Be cautious on the roof. Working on a roof may put you closer to an overhead power line than you realize and your focus may be more on keeping your footing than on wire locations. Avoid accidentally touching a line with your head or shoulder or any tool you may be using.

  • Playing catch is a time-honored rite of spring, but keep clear of lines so that you always make it home safe.

  • Flying kites is another fun part of spring, but do it away from overhead power lines and make sure kids have adult supervision. If a kite becomes tangled in electrical wires, immediately let go of the string and make no attempt to remove the kite. Call Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070.

Stay away to stay safe.

  • If you spot an electrical wire down, keep everyone out of the area (including pets) and immediately call 9-1-1 or Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.

  • Never try to move a downed wire or even go near one. Always assume a downed wire is energized and dangerous, even if it isn’t sparking. Touching a live line or anything near it-- like a fence or puddle of water--can cause electricity to flow through your body, resulting in serious injury or death.

To learn more about electrical safety or to order free electrical safety materials, call Pacific Power’s public safety department toll free at 1-800-375-7085 or visit pacificpower.net/safety.

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