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Safety

Safety is a major element of our everyday life here at Prince George Electric Cooperative.  All PGEC employees are trained in safe work practices, both outside in the live electricity environment and in our offices and homes.

Electricity can cause burns, shocks, and electrocution.  PGEC encourages all members to respect and use caution when working with or near electricity.

Below are some tips to help keep you and your family safe:

Safety at Home

  • Keep electric cords away from heat sources and water.

  • Never try to override three-prong plugs.

  • Too many appliances on one outlet create a fire hazard.

  • Disconnect extension cords when not in use.

  • Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI) and Surge Guard surge protectors can help protect you from injury and damage to your valuable electronic equipment.

  • Never fly kites or model airplanes near overhead power lines.

  • Always look up and be aware of your surroundings when working outside with ladders, extension equipment, or on roofs.

  • Don't touch downed power lines.  Always assume the wires are energized.  Call (804) 834-2424 to report the downed lines.

  • Never put staples or nails into utility poles.  They increase the risk of falls or punctures to the protective safety gloves of the linemen who climb them.

Spotting Safety Hazards

Safety is everyone's job!  PGEC's electric distribution system covers over 1,300 miles of power line, with approximately 33,000 utility poles, over 12,000 meters, numerous transformers, and other equipment.  As a PGEC member, you can provide a valuable service to your cooperative by observing and reporting hazardous conditions that may threaten electric service reliability or endanger public safety.

You should report the following conditions to us immediately by calling (804) 834-2424  24/7

  • Downed or low-hanging power lines

  • Kites or balloons entangled in power lines

  • Broken insulators
  • Broken power poles or dangerously leaning poles
  • Antennas near power lines
  • Dead or leaning trees close to power lines
  • Vandalized equipment
  • Cut wire or broken locks at electrical substations
  • Unlocked underground electrical cabinets
  • Anyone climbing utility poles or substation fences

Meter tampering is a serious crime that poses a lethal risk to public safety and inflates electric rates.  Signs of meter tampering to watch for include a cut or missing meter seal, a meter turned upside down, lights on in a building with a meter missing from the base, or jumpers in the meter socket.  Keep in mind when you call - we are more interested in the information you can provide than your name.

Miss Utility 8-1-1

Get the information you need before you dig.

A free convenient service makes it easy to get all underground utilities marked before you, or your contractor, digs.

When should I call?

To avoid damaging underground utility lines on their property, homeowners should contact Virginia 811 at least 3 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before beginning any digging project.

Call Virginia 811 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Why should I call?

Calling 811 before you dig is the LAW.

If you are planning any type of digging project, you should call just to be on the safe side. Many utilities, such as cable television lines, are buried very close to the surface. While it might not be life-threatening, you’d hate to miss the big game because you were planting begonias. There is no cost to the homeowner for our service, so you really have no downside.

I hired a contractor. Should I still call 811?

It is the contractor’s responsibility to call before digging. Be insistent on this because you are the one who will be endangered or inconvenienced if your contractor hits a utility.

Also, be understanding. We live in a fast-paced world and everyone wants their projects completed promptly, however, allowing time for marking is just good sense. Some contractors seek to gain an advantage by saying they can start a digging project without marking. This is a violation of Virginia law.

Generator Safety

Generators can be an invaluable source of power following a major storm.  Safety considerations should be first and foremost when purchasing and installing a generator both for you and your family and for lineworkers. 

 

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Never connect a generator directly to the electrical system of any building without the installation of a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch as required by the National Electrical Code.

  • Always ground the generator's electrical system adequately to avoid electrocution.

  • Always operate a generator in a clean, dry, well-ventilated area to avoid electrical shock and carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Never use worn, damaged, undersized, or ungrounded extension cords with a generator.

  • Place the generator on a low-conductivity surface such as a concrete slab before operating.

  • Never exceed the load capacity of a generator by attaching too many items or items with very high load ratings. This could result in a fire.

  • Never attempt to refuel a generator while it is running or hot.  Turn the engine off and allow it to cool before adding fuel.  Have a fire extinguisher in the immediate area certified to handle fuel fires.

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