As I write this piece, March 20, the official first day of Spring, is just around the corner. While I’d like to be able to report that the weather is warming up, it has actually been unseasonably warm all winter…almost spring-like. As a result, trees, shrubs and flowers are beginning to, and in some cases, have already bloomed signaling that it’s time to begin making plans for the outdoor projects we put on our to-do list over the winter – those in the garage, around the house and in the yard.
With the good weather we’ve had you’re probably eager to get an early start but please don’t let your enthusiasm and intentions overshadow some basic safety rules and common sense. Take some time to review your projects, plan your work, and then, work your plan. As part of your planning, be sure to check your surroundings before you begin – both high and low. Take notice of overhead power lines when trimming or planting trees or shrubs in, or around the right-of-way. For more information about safe trimming and planting, visit www.laneelectric.com/services/tree-trimming.
If you’re digging holes for new fence posts or planting trees or shrubs, don’t forget about underground wires. Before taking your first scoop of dirt, look around and ask yourself where any underground wires might be. It is very important that you do not nick or cut them with a shovel or pick.
If you are unsure about the location of underground wires, please take a minute and call the Oregon Underground Notification Center by dialing 811. It’s quick and easy. When you call 811, you are connected to the One Call Center closest to your area. The call center takes your information and notifies Lane Electric of your request. A qualified professional will be dispatched to identify and mark the location of underground power lines before you dig and find them. To make sure your job stays on schedule, please notify the call center a few days before you’re ready, to allow for processing time. Remember, knowing what’s below ground will protect you, your family and your neighbors.
Remember to identify any overhead power lines in and around your work area. Look up before moving irrigation pipes, using a ladder, installing a new antenna or flag pole, or moving large trucks, trailers or heavy equipment. For indoor projects that involve wiring and electrical fixtures, make sure you turn the power off at the breaker panel to avoid getting shocked.
As you plan your projects, remember the old adage… “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It just might save your life. Please take the proper precautions as you begin your springtime chores. You’ll be glad you did.