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LMUD Celebrates National Electrical Safety Month

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Craig Lima performing LMUD’s High Voltage Safety Demonstration. LMUD provides this free service to groups or organizations.

by Theresa Phillips
LMUD Energy Services Manager

At Lassen Municipal Utility District safety is something we take very seriously – safety of our employees and the public is our number one priority.

LMUD goes to great lengths to ensure that our facilities and equipment meet the stringent safety standards set forth by the California Public Utilities Commission. The standards are put in place to protect both the public and our employees.

LMUD employees log hundreds of hours of safety training – everything from workplace safety training to emergency pole top rescue. In addition to our own employee safety training – LMUD staff members bring the High Voltage Safety Demonstration to schools, organizations and groups throughout our service territory.

It’s easy to take electricity for granted; electricity makes our lives convenient, comfortable and efficient. However, electricity can become deadly if used improperly or carelessly.

As spring progresses and summer approaches the chances for an electrical accident increase. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (www.esfi.org) each year there are an estimated 150 accidental electrocutions attributed to consumer products and nearly 300 people are electrocuted during outdoor activities.

Lineman Corey Kindle uses a practice dummy to demonstrate his pole-top rescue skills.

Residents must be aware of overhead and underground lines as they perform their spring cleaning, planting or construction projects – a simple look around or a call to 811 (USA Dig) can avoid disaster. An everyday activity, such as cleaning rain gutters, tree trimming or digging a trench can pose an electrical hazard if safety concerns are not heeded.

Ranchers and farmers must be especially diligent in their safety precautions. Moving irrigation pipes can result in tragedy – if a pipe comes in contact with an overhead power line the person holding the pipe can be shocked or electrocuted.

Another common safety hazard occurs when agricultural burning gets out of hand. Utility poles are often located in the same area that is being burned – poles that are dry and full of creosote are easily ignited. The flames and smoke can cause lines to arc resulting in power outages or permanent damage to the pole and lines. (Keep in mind, if you are burning and cause damage to LMUD property you may be held liable for the cost of repairs. Make sure that you have sufficient safety precautions in place before you begin this type of project.)

LMUD employees are already beginning to prepare our lines and right-aways for summer safety. Crews will be clearing vegetation from around poles and lines. Tree trimmers will begin their rounds to eliminate the danger of limbs coming in contact with lines and line crews will be visually inspecting lines and utility poles for damage.

You can help us keep our facilities hazard free by reporting damaged lines or poles, our customer service line, 257-4174, is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Safety is paramount for LMUD linemen – Linecrew Foreman Jim Lovercheck demonstrates the proper way to handle a bucket rescue.

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