Consumer Assistance | Energy | Telecom | Warehouse | Commission Actions | Miscellaneous

arrow News | previous page

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 31, 2006
CONTACT: Robert Miller, Energy Safety Association of South Dakota, (605) 224-6311; or Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

PUC and ESA offer tips, declare Electrical Safety Awareness Week

PIERRE, S.D. -- The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and the Energy Safety Association of South Dakota have designated the week of June 4-10, 2006, as Electrical Safety Awareness Week. South Dakotans are urged to be aware of electrical safety hazards both indoors and outdoors and to use caution to avoid electrical accidents.

The commission and association are emphasizing the Electrical Safety Top Five in this year's campaign:

5. Teach your children not to climb fences or trees that are close to power lines.
4. Add child protection covers to all your outdoor and indoor electrical outlets.
3. Always call before you dig.
2. Never put a ladder near a power line.
1. If a power line is down, stay away.

As the advent of the summer approaches, many South Dakotans will engage in outdoor activities. "It is extremely important to remember the potential dangers that exist with overhead and underground power lines. Always keep safety a top priority, especially now when children are spending more time outdoors and adults work on outdoor and home improvement projects," PUC Chairman Bob Sahr advised.

"Calling before you dig is a wise investment of a few minutes of your time," said Commissioner Dusty Johnson. "Many people don't realize some buried power lines can be as close as 18 inches from the ground surface. Always call before you dig," he said. In South Dakota, one call can be made to 811 or 1-800-781-7474 to locate underground utilities including electric, gas, telephone and cable.

Always assume that every power line is live. Even if a downed line produces no sparks or humming noises, it may still be live. "Having space between you and power lines is the best way to keep safe," noted Commissioner Gary Hanson. "Look up before placing a ladder, trimming branches or allowing your children to climb trees. Move away if you see an overhead power line," he cautioned.

Television announcements urging South Dakotans to use caution around electricity will be broadcast throughout the state during Electrical Safety Awareness Week and beyond. The Electrical Safety Top Five can be found online at

- 30 -