Fall Safety Tips

As the leaves begin to fall and temperatures become cooler, you may be ready to get outside for home-improvement projects before winter makes its presence known. It's a great time of year to do that, but before you get started, become familiar with and follow these safety tips.

1. The right tree, the right place.

Trees can help cool your home and neighborhood, break cold winds to lower your heating costs and provide food for wildlife. Properly placed trees can lower line clearance costs for utility companies, reduce tree mortality and result in healthier community forests. Find more information at www.myrec.coop/chooseatree

2. Call before you dig.

(This free service could save your life.) Power lines and other utilities run underground. Before any digging project, always call Virginia 811 (formerly Miss Utility) at 811. After you call, a technician will come to your home within 72 hours to mark all underground cables. This informs you of where you can safely dig and plant trees or other vegetation.

ALWAYS LOOK UP

While REC installs some power lines underground, the majority of the Cooperative's power lines are overhead,running through neighborhoods and yards to your home. Familiarize yourself
with the location of power lines in the area you will be working.

• If you are planning to take down or prune a tree near overhead power lines, contact REC to request a review of the situation to ensure that it is safe for you to complete the work. If the tree is too close to overhead lines, professional line clearance tree trimmers should perform the work.

• Keep ladders and other tools clear of power lines when completing projects such as gutter cleaning.

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS

• Sweep dried leaves and debris from outdoor receptacles. Keep your outlets and cords dry and covered outside.

• Consider upgrading any outdoor receptacles - and outlets that could come in contact with water - to ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs immediately interrupt power flow when a plugged-in device comes in contact with water.

• Use only weather-resistant, heavy-duty extension cords marked for outdoor use.

• Don't leave outdoor power tools unattended for curious children or animals to find.

• Keep the inside of your home safe by changing your air filters, the batteries to your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Please clean out dryer vents that lead to the outside of your home.

Always Look Up