April 30, 2024

Safety Corner: May Is Electrical Safety Month


Vegetation Management

Overgrown trees and branches are one of the leading causes of power outages. Routine vegetation management around our electrical equipment improves service reliability, speeds up restoration time, and helps keep our crews and communities safe.

Did you know there are ways you can help us limit tree trimming? By planting trees in the right place from the start based on their expected height, you can help reduce the need to trim trees near overhead power lines. Click here to find resources that can help you make wise tree planting decisions.

If you spot an overgrown tree or branch that’s dangerously close to power lines, let us know! Complete an online tree trimming request at www.pvrea.coop/for-members/maintenance.

Ladder Safety

A ladder is often necessary, whether it is for a home improvement project, clearing the gutters, or hanging decorative lights. However, before rushing into a project, take a few minutes to inspect your ladder and ensure it is the right one for the job and fit to use. Then ensure you are working safely and away from potential hazards.

Don’t skip the inspection. Before using a ladder, check to see if it is broken, in disrepair, or not functioning as it should. If this is the case, ensure no one uses it until it is properly repaired or replaced. Look for cracks, serious dents, deformed rungs, loose steps, uneven feet, and defective locks or spreader braces.

Look up first! Always look up and look out for overhead power lines before climbing, transporting, or positioning a ladder. When moving a ladder, carry it horizontally instead of vertically since getting too close or contacting overhead power lines could cause electrocution.

Source: SafeElectricity.org

Overhead Powerlines

It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid any contact with overhead power lines.

Look up and live! Before you climb a ladder, move equipment, or fly a kite, look up and look out for any power lines in the area.

Maintain a safe distance. Never touch or come close to a power line. Keep power lines and other electrical equipment at a minimum 10 ft. distance between yourself and whatever you are carrying or operating.

Downed power lines can also be dangerous because you cannot tell if it is inactive or not. If you see one, stay away and call your local electric provider immediately.

Utility Scams: In The Digital Age

Technology brings convenience, but also new avenues for scammers. Utility scams are on the rise, targeting unsuspecting consumers with tactics that can appear legitimate. Power down potential scams by staying vigilant and protecting yourself.

Familiarize yourself with your typical bill appearance, amount, and due date. Pay your bill only through secure and familiar payment methods like our website or mobile app. Beware sudden, urgent demands for immediate payments or requests for new payment methods like gift cards or prepaid cards. Look out for fees – we will never charge you a fee to make a payment.

Scrutinize emails and texts by looking for typos, grammatical errors, and a sense of urgency. Hover over links to preview the actual destination URL instead of clicking on embedded links directly.

Most importantly, if you are unsure about a message you receive by text or email, verify it directly. Contact us at 800.432.1012 or log into your online account through the PVREA mobile app or directly from our website at www.pvrea.coop.

Utility Scams: Face-To-Face

While digital scams are prevalent, in-person utility scams still occur. Be your own watchdog to keep yourself, your property, and your finances safe and secure.

Do not let someone inside your home claiming to be from PVREA. We will never request access into your home unless you have previously and directly scheduled an in-home visit from us.

We won’t ask to ‘see your bill’ either. PVREA employees have direct access to member energy-use information. We don’t need to see a physical copy of your bill to help with energy management or potential savings.

We will never demand immediate cash payments at your doorstep. If someone is claiming disconnection unless a cash payment is received, they are not legitimate.

If you suspect an imposter, excuse yourself from the situation and ensure your safety. Then contact us at 800.432.1012 and your local law enforcement by dialing 911.