Southern Pine places great emphasis on safety, whether it is our employees' or our members' safety. Our employees are well-trained in emergency procedures. We have gathered safety information that we think will be of value to our membership and you will find a number of those safety reminders below.
What to do in the event of an electrical fire:
If you have an electrical fire, make sure everyone leaves the house. If the fire is small, call 911 right away. If you are confident that you may be able to extinguish the fire without the assistance of professional help, you may want to read the following guidelines:
Each home needs a Class C fire extinguisher on hand to help secure their family and home from unforeseen accidents that occur from time to time.
If the fire is contained to a small appliance, you may want to carefully unplug the appliance or turn off the electricity, but don't touch the appliance.
Never put water on an electrical fire.
If the fire has affected your service entrance wiring or your meter, call Southern Pine as soon as possible so that we can make any necessary repairs.
Please contact your local office of Southern Pine or call the Brewton headquarters at 251-867-5415.
Don’t mess around with power lines—even if they’re down
Downed power lines can look relatively harmless, but don’t be fooled. They likely carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or possibly death. These tips can help you stay safe around downed lines: If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it.
*The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock. Electricity wants to move from a high voltage zone to a low voltage one—and it could do that through your body.
*If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911 instead.
*Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the line by using another object such as a broom or stick. Even normally non-conductive materials like wood or cloth, if slightly wet, can conduct electricity and electrocute you.
*Be careful not to put your feet near water where a downed power line is located.
*Do not drive over downed lines.
*If you are in a vehicle that is in contact with a downed line, stay in the vehicle. Honk your horn for help and tell others to stay away from your vehicle.
*If you must leave your vehicle because it’s on fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid making contact with the energized vehicle and the ground at the same time. This way you avoid being the path of electricity from the vehicle to the earth.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
by Christine Grammes
According to Underwriters Laboratory (UL), more than 500 people die each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the United States. During the winter months, incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning increase due to the use of heating equipment.
With that in mind, prevent CO poisoning this winter by installing and maintaining a carbon monoxide detector:
*Have a qualified technician inspect fuel-burning appliances at least once a year. Older or damaged appliances emit carbon monoxide due to wear and tear.
*Notice signs that signal a CO problem: streaks of carbon or soot around the service door of your fuel-burning appliance; the absence of a draft in your chimney; excessive rusting on flue pipes; moisture collecting on the windows and walls of furnace rooms; fallen soot from the fireplace; small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe; damaged or discolored bricks at the top of your chimney; rust on the portion of the vent pipe visible from outside your home.
*Signs of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, confusion and breathing difficulties. If someone has these symptoms inside the house but not outside, it may be a result of CO.
*Install a CO detector outside bedrooms as most poisonings occur while sleeping.
*Follow the manufacturer’s directions for installing the detector.
*If your unit is hard-wired into your home’s electrical system, you should test it monthly. If it runs off of a battery, test the detector weekly and replace the battery once a year.
*Never use charcoal grills inside homes, tents, or campers. Don’t leave vehicles running in an enclosed garage, even to “warm up.”
If your CO alarm sounds, immediately open doors and windows for ventilation. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning, evacuate the house and call 911. If the alarm sounds, but no one is experiencing symptoms, continue to ventilate the house, turn off fuel-burning appliances, and call a qualified technician to inspect your home.