Safety at La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) is a top priority.
Education, Training and Information. The cooperative principle LPEA abides by to educate our member-owners, directors and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of our cooperative.
LPEA’s Safety Committee increases our employee’s electrical safety awareness through various U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations. The Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA) provides additional training programs. Here are several categories of severe weather safety tips.
- Severe Weather Safety
- Flood Safety
- Freezing Weather Safety
- Thunderstorm Safety
Severe Weather Safety
The La Plata Electric Association, Inc. service area is within a region prone to thunderstorms and other severe weather conditions, such as high winds, tornadoes, and flash floods. When you know the risks and what actions to take, you can better protect your family and property.
Make sure the electric circuit breakers or fuses are clearly marked for each area of your home or business.
If high water is approaching and the floor is dry, turn off the electricity at the main circuit breaker or fuse box.
Unplug appliances — but again, only if you don't have to stand in water. If possible, move larger appliances such as washing machines to a higher floor, or place them on concrete blocks.
If you use a generator, only connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electric system.
Don't go into any room or basement if water is covering appliance cords that are plugged in or if water has reached the wall outlets.
Do not enter a room if you hear popping or buzzing, or if you see sparks.
Remain a safe distance from all ground-level electric boxes to avoid a hazard.
Before entering a flooded building or basement, make certain the electricity is off.
If the electric panel is covered by water, the resident or business should contact an electrician to determine the safety of the unit.
Be careful around downed tree limbs. They can conduct electricity from wet or broken power lines.
Contact La Plata Electric Association, Inc. at (970) 247-5786 if you see a downed power line.
Freezing Weather Safety
Have your heating system inspected by a qualified service professional once a year. This inspection should include cleaning and lubrication, replacing filters, checking belts and thermostats and clearing vents of obstructions, as necessary.
Turn off and unplug electric blankets if not in use. Never tuck in electric blankets.
Use electric products only for their intended purposes. Hair dryers and space heaters, for example, aren't intended to thaw frozen pipes, dry clothing or warm bedding.
Keep flammable materials, such as bedding, clothing, drapes, furniture or rugs, a minimum of 3 feet from portable electric heaters, even ones with safety features such as cut-off switches or heating element guards.
Don't use space heaters where children may be unsupervised.
Turn off and unplug space heaters when they're not in use.
Unplug electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
Avoid contact with corded phones and devices, including those plugged in for recharging.
Unplug appliances and other electric items such as computers, and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
Avoid contact with plumbing and bathroom fixtures. They can conduct electricity.
Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches.
Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
Stay away from hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
Prevent contact with anything metal — tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs and bicycles.
Always assume power lines are live. This applies to power lines on utility poles as well as those near homes and buildings. Even though you may notice a covering on a line, never assume it is safe to touch. Even momentary contact with power lines can cause injury or death.
Contact La Plata Electric Association at (970) 247-5786 if you see a downed power line.