As you prepare for hunting season, keep in mind that along with general hunting safety, electrical safety should also be top of mind.
You might be preoccupied and excited about the big hunt but be sure to look up and look out for power lines. Never place a tree stand near a power line. Contact with the power line, utility pole, or related equipment can alter the path to ground, sending electricity through anyone or anything that comes too close or in direct contact with the power source. (Even coming within 10 feet can cause an arc, transferring energy from the power line to an object or person.)
In addition, do not shoot near or toward power lines, utility poles, transformers, or substations. Stray bullets or pellets could damage equipment, possibly interrupting electric service. Even more concerning, they could drop a power line to the ground, causing a hazardous scenario because those who get within 50 feet of the downed line could be shocked or electrocuted.
Northern Electric Cooperative and Safe Electricity remind hunting enthusiasts of these electrical safety tips this season:
- Familiarize yourself with the area before heading out to hunt. Take note of power lines and equipment, especially when hunting in densely wooded areas.
- Observe all signs or postings that advise electrical safety, especially when scouting out a location for your tree stand.
- Do not use power poles to support a tree stand.
- Do not locate a tree stand near a power line or pole.
- Be in the habit of looking up and out for power lines and do not come within 10 feet of an overhead line or pole when setting up or taking down a stand.
- Never climb a utility pole.
Please report any damage to a line or other related equipment to Northern Electric Cooperative so crews can address it. Although co-op crews perform routine maintenance, damage may not be noticed for weeks or months unless an outage occurs due to the thousands of miles of lines that cover the Northern Electric service area. Of course, always take the time to observe general hunting safety measures as well.
For more information about safety around power lines and other sources of electricity, go to SafeElectricity.org.