Safety, service, reliability and responsive customer service are the No. 1 priorities of the City of Redding Electric Utility
Use of electricity in our society has become so common place that most of us don't think about it much. Since we can't see electricity, hear it, smell it or touch it, it doesn't demand much of our attention-until it's not there. The moment electricity becomes unavailable, we all know it. Lights go out and the machines, appliances and equipment in our homes and businesses cease to function. Sometimes even traffic lights and the media are affected so our ability to travel and communicate are impaired. It's no wonder that electrical outages are a source of great concern, frustration and inconvenience. In our society, electricity has become a necessity.
Ironically, even though we put such reliance in it, electricity production and distribution are not generally understood by the majority of people who use it. This site will help you understand how the combination of people, power plants, poles and power lines work together to make your days and nights more comfortable, convenient and enjoyable. This site also explains some of the reasons you experience power outages and the process Redding Electric Utility uses to restore your power as quickly as possible. Also, information is included that will help you prepare for and endure power outages that may affect you and your family.
Electricity is a powerful tool and, like all tools, it needs to be used properly. These safety tips can help you stay safe in and around your home or office and help you prepare for an emergency. Few things improve our lives more than electricity. From cooking appliances to lifesaving hospital equipment, we depend on electricity every day. That makes electrical safety especially important: coming into direct contact with electrical current can severely injure or even kill you. These tips can help you stay safe and secure, no matter where you are.
Electricity travels the path of least resistance. Because there is hardly any difference to electricity between a human body and an electrical wire, if you come in contact with electricity, it will pass through your body if your body creates a good path, especially if your body is in contact with a ground such as a water pipe or metal appliance. Electrical shock can cause serious injury or death. A few simple precautions can help you work safely around electricity.
If you see a fallen power line, call the Redding Electric Utility at 530.245.7000. Call 911 immediately if it is a medical or life-threatening emergency. Assume all downed lines to be "live" power lines. If you see a line lying on the ground, consider it energized even if you don't see any sparks or other obvious signs that it is energized.
Remember, if a power line is touching someone, stay away and don't touch them. If you attempt rescue, you could easily become a victim yourself. Call for emergency help. If a downed power line falls across your vehicle, stay in the vehicle. Do not get out!
When installing any kind of antenna (TV, radio, CB), be sure there is more than enough space between the antenna and any overhead power lines. The minimum clearance recommended is at least twice the height of the antenna with a regulatory requirement of at least 10 feet.
Electrical tools for outdoor use should have heavier wiring, be properly insulated and have a three-way grounded plug. Most tools currently on the market carry UL labels and are outdoor rated if they are appropriate for outdoor use. Outdoor electrical outlets must be grounded and have weather proof covers.
If you are wet or touching water, don't touch any electrical appliance or tool. Keep electrical equipment at least 10 feet away from pools, spas and wet surfaces. Never touch fences, ladders, or other metal objects that are leaning on or touching power lines.
Underground power lines might be buried as shallow as 18 inches. If your shovel cuts a power line, electricity might pass through the shovel, injuring you. If you plan to dig near buried power lines in the City, first call the Underground Service Alert (USA) Notification Center at 800.227.2600. All utilities who have buried facilities will respond to your request to locate and mark any underground lines. Each utility will mark the location of any buried lines or pipes in the area where you are planning to excavate. Should you desire, a Redding Electric Utility employee will assist should you have difficulty contacting USA. Call 530.224.4375 if you plan to excavate west of Interstate 5, or, call 530.224.4357, if you plan to excavate on the east side of Interstate 5.
Before you prune, trim or cut down trees near overhead electrical lines, call the Redding Electric Utility at 530.224.4384. Tree limbs, metal tools and metal ladders touching power lines can become electrified and cause severe injury. Plan the falling of the pruned limbs so the limbs don't fall on or near a power line.
For more information on trimming around power lines or to speak to a Certified Arborist, call the Redding Electric Utility at 530.224.4356.
In the vicinity of power lines, the selection of trees to plant is especially important. The best trees to plant near power lines grow no taller than 25 feet. Before planting or pruning trees near overhead power lines or transformers, Redding Electric Utility customers should give us a call at 530.224.4356 and speak with our Supervising Arborist. We'll tell you whether it's safe to do the work before you put yourself at risk. If you think you have an unhealthy tree under a power line, have it inspected by one of our Certified Arborists. Removal of a sick tree is often complicated and better done by an expert. Replace removed trees with one from a list of trees recommended by either your Arborist or one of Redding Electric Utility's Certified Arborists.
Talk to kids about the dangers of electricity. Make them aware of the simple steps to be taken to remain safe. Fly kites in an open field - not near overhead lines. If your kite does get caught in a power line, don't try to get it untangled - call the Redding Electric Utility. Metallic balloons and model airplanes can cause dangerous power outages. Don't play with either one near power lines. If you see someone who is not an electrical worker approach a wire hanging from a pole or sticking out of a box on the ground, warn them to stay away from it and call the Electric Utility. If you see someone who you think is getting shocked, don't touch them, go and call for help. Stay away from substation fences and electrical equipment - you are asking for trouble if you climb utility fences or poles. The best practice is to stay away.
Electrical outlets are for electrical plugs only. Never put anything into an electric outlet except an approved electrical plug. Water and electricity don't mix. Don't touch anything electrical or use any electrical appliance when you're wet or touching water. Don't try to put out an electrical fire with water. Water will not put out an electric arc.
For information about power safety, or to schedule a power safety demonstration for your school, social group, business, or organization, or for a safety meeting topic. Call the Redding Electric Utility at 530.339.7300 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, or call 530.224.4384 from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays.