Public Safety

Electric Safety

Electricity is a safe and reliable energy source when used properly. Like any other source of energy, it can be hazardous if used without caution and care.

FPUA cares about your safety and wants you to enjoy the comforts and convenience that electricity provides. We encourage you to follow these important electrical safety tips, and share them with your family and friends.

It is important to use extreme caution and stay away from overhead power lines. Electricity is always trying to go somewhere. It goes easily through materials like metal, water, trees, the ground, and things with water in them – like animals and PEOPLE.

Call us. Never touch a power line with a part of your body, or with any object – and never cross a substation fence. Never cut trees near overhead power lines until you have met with a company representative.

Here are some helpful tips to keep you safe:

  • Look up! Always examine your surroundings for power line locations before doing any outside work.
  • Electricity and water don’t mix. Keep electrical appliances and toys away from water, including rain, wet ground, swimming pools, sprinklers and hoses.
  • Meters and other electrical equipment may be located on the outside of a home or building. The meter measures the amount of electricity used. Never tamper with this or any electrical equipment. Tampering with meters is illegal and dangerous.
  • Be cautious on the roof. Working on a roof may put you close to an overhead power line. Avoid standing up and accidentally touching a line with your head or shoulder.
  • Use care when painting. When house painting, ensure that nothing, including you, your ladder, your paintbrush or roller, comes in contact with the power line supplying electricity to your home.
  • Be careful with ladders and other metal objects. When using an aluminum ladder, check above you for power lines. Aluminum is an exceptionally good conductor of electricity. If you touch a power line with an aluminum ladder, you could be seriously injured or killed. The same goes for antennas, metal gutters and other long metal objects. Take extra care to ensure that they don’t inadvertently touch a power line.
  • Don’t prune near power lines. Pruning trees around power lines should only be attempted by trained professionals. Serious injuries and even fatalities have occurred when untrained individuals do this work without the assistance of qualified professionals. Please call us for an evaluation of the trees and vegetation around power lines prior to any removals.
  • Call before cutting. Never cut trees near overhead power lines until you have met with a company representative.
  • Do not plant vegetation to grow up or near utility poles or guy wires.
  • Do not throw objects up into power lines. This can cause short circuits, and could result in injuries. This includes items you might not consider conductive, like ropes and strings.
  • See something tangled in a power line? Stay clear. Never attempt to move an object (tree limb, kite, model airplane, etc.) from a power line yourself. Never climb the pole. Contact FPUA- we can help.
  • Distribution wires are “live” with electrical power that can hurt you. Never shoot or throw anything at wires, insulators or pole transformers.
  • Never touch a downed power line. If you see a downed power line, contact FPUA immediately. Don’t touch the line or anything that is in contact with it. Don’t attempt to move the line. Keep others away, and consider every wire on the ground to be energized and dangerous.
  • Fly kites, model planes and balloons safely. Fly them only in wide-open spaces like a field or on a beach. Never fly them around power lines. And never use metal, foil or wire in your kite or kite string.
  • Guy wires keep poles standing. Don’t climb or hang anything on guy wires.
  • Never climb utility poles, towers or substation fences.
  • Obey warning signs. “DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE” and other warning signs are posted in some locations. But remember, all electrical equipment can be dangerous.
  • Substations are not playgrounds. At neighborhood substations, high-voltage electricity is reduced to be sent to homes. Don’t climb over or crawl under substation fences, walls or gates. If a ball or toy goes over a fence and into a substation, call FPUA. We will come and get it out for you.

 

Outdoor Electrical Box Safety

Click Here for videos made possible by members of EEC – at Safe Electricity.org  

Note: Videos may contain tragic or graphic content regarding the dangers of power line exposure to humans.  FPUA is not repsponsible for the content and FPUA does not distribute, manage or maintain the video content or integrity of these videos or the website content.

There are many potential dangers related to electricity in your home. Here are a few tips to help you avoid accidents and spot potential problems.

Use power cords with caution.

  • Replace cords that are damaged or frayed.
  • Never put your finger – or anything other than an electrical plug – in an outlet. Don’t touch the metal part of the plug when plugging something into an outlet.
  • Never place cords under carpet or rugs..
  • Extension cords are only for temporary use. Prolonged use of extension cords can cause overheating and fire.
  • Never pull a cord; always pull the plug.

Be careful with electricity around water!

  • Never reach for or unplug an appliance that has fallen into water. Instead, turn the power off at the breaker before you unplug the appliance or remove it from the water.
  • Never turn on an appliance that is sitting on a damp counter.
  • Don’t touch a switch if your hands are wet.
  • If appliances are used near a sink, turn them off after each use.
  • Don’t set a radio or telephone on the edge of a bathtub or sink.
  • Don’t use a hair dryer when your hands are wet, or when you are standing on a damp floor, in a wet tub or in a shower.
  • Unless an appliance is labeled “immersible,” don’t put it in water to wash it.

Keep your home’s electrical system in good repair.

  • If you continually replace fuses, reset circuit breakers, hear unusual buzzing sounds, or see sparks or flickering lights, you may have a problem with the electrical wiring in your home. Contact a licensed electrical contractor to perform an inspection and make any necessary repairs.
  • Always use the correct ampere rated fuses or circuit breakers. Incorrect amperage can cause power outages or fires in your home. If you are unsure of which amperage fuse or breaker to use, contact a licensed electrician.

Practice safe electricity usage throughout your home.

  • Never overload outlets. Using multiple plug-in adapters or power strips could cause a fire.
  • If an electric appliance smells hot or buzzes, don’t touch it or try to unplug it. Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker, and then unplug it.
  • Avoid the risk of fire by using the manufacturer’s suggested wattage for light bulbs in lamps, lighting fixtures, and all other appliances.
  • Use extreme caution with halogen lamps. Place them away from curtains or other flammable materials.
  • Keep space heaters away from flammable materials like curtains, rugs or newspapers. Only use UL-listed space heaters, and always operate space heaters to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Consider installing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in your main electrical panel, or have GFCIs installed in areas of your home where a shock is a greater potential – such as the kitchen and bathrooms, laundry rooms, porches, and patios. These safety devices reduce the risk of electrocution.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when operating heating pads and electric blankets.
  • Use caution and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using electric appliances around children.
  • Ensure outlet safety with children by using outlet covers or plastic outlet caps.

A generator can be very useful during a power outage, but remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper operation. To protect yourself and your family or business, remember to follow these safety rules.

Always

  • Have a licensed electrician install stationary or standby emergency generators.
  • Plug appliances directly into an emergency or portable generator. Don’t connect a generator directly to a breaker panel, fuse box or meter box. This could cause the power lines to become energized from the generator, posing a serious threat to utility and tree-trimming crews working to restore power.
  • Obey all local, state and national electrical and fire codes.
  • Store gasoline in approved fuel containers and out of children’s reach.
  • Keep children away from generators.
  • Have a fully charged, properly rated fire extinguisher (i.e., rated for electrical and gas fires) ready at all times.

Other Reminders

  • Never connect generators to your utility service through receptacles, outlets, breakers, fuses or meter boxes.
  • Never replenish fuel in a generator while it is running.
  • Call an electrician to repair a generator; never attempt to repair it yourself.
  • Operate your generator outside. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, never use a generator indoors or in attached garages. Only operate the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from your home’s air intakes

Standby Generator Brochure

 

Flooding Guidelines

Safety is our first concern after every storm. According to the American Red Cross, electrocutions are the second-leading cause of death during and after floods. FPUA offers the following electrical safety guidelines when coping with flooding:

  • If rising water threatens your home – or if you evacuate your home – turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
  • Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don’t drive over – and don’t stand near – downed power lines.
  • Never replace a fuse or touch a circuit breaker with wet hands, or while standing on a wet or damp surface.
  • If your home or business is flooded, FPUA cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make necessary repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

CDC Guidelines for Flood Preparation and Safety

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following recommendations for preparing for, and responding to, flooding:

Before the Flood

  • Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes and locations of emergency shelters.
  • Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Designate an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the main contact person in case your family is separated. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number for this person.
  • Post emergency phone numbers at every phone.
  • Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the flood strikes. Turn off electrical power if there is standing water, fallen power lines or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies, too.
  • Have immunization records handy or know when you last received a tetanus shot, in case you are wounded during or after a flood.
  • Sanitize bathtubs and sinks using bleach and rinse them thoroughly; fill them and plastic bottles with clean water.
  • Secure outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills, and trash cans.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Put family pets somewhere safe. Some emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
  • Turn the thermostats on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.

Emergency Supplies for Your Home

  • Five gallons of water for each person
  • A three- to five-day supply of nonperishable food
  • A manual can opener
  • A first-aid kit and handbook
  • Prescription medicines
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets
  • Iodine tablets or unscented household chlorine bleach, to purify water
  • Baby food, prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
  • Disposable cleaning cloths (“baby wipes”)
  • Personal hygiene supplies such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
  • An emergency car kit with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first-aid kit, and fire extinguisher
  • Rubber boots, sturdy shoes, and waterproof gloves
  • Insect repellent containing DEET

Avoiding Illness

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected when preparing or eating food, after using the toilet, after participating in flood cleanup activities, and after handling articles contaminated with floodwater or sewage.

Making Sure Food is Safe

  • Do not eat food that may have come into contact with floodwater.
  • For infants, use only prepared canned baby formula that requires no added water. Do not use powdered formulas.
  • Thawed food can usually be eaten or refrozen if it is still “refrigerator cold” or if it contains ice crystals. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Discard any refrigerated or frozen food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food with an unusual odor, color or texture.

Making Sure Water is Safe

  • Listen for public announcements about the safety of your local water supply. Flooded private wells will need to be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. Questions about testing should be directed to FPUA and your local or state health department.
  • Safe drinking water includes bottled, boiled or treated water. Your state or local health department can make specific recommendations for boiling or treating drinking water in your area.

Handling Animals and Mosquitoes

  • Wild animals will be forced from their natural habitats during floods, and domestic animals may be without homes. Take care to avoid these animals.
  • Do not corner an animal. If an animal must be removed, contact your local animal control authorities.
  • If you are bitten by any animal, seek immediate medical attention.
  • If you are bitten by a snake, try to accurately identify the type of snake so that, if poisonous, the correct antivenin may be administered.
  • Contact local or state health and agricultural officials for guidelines on the disposal of dead animals.
  • Protect yourself from mosquitoes – use screens on dwellings, wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing and apply insect repellents that contain DEET.

Essential use Customers

FPUA will make reasonable efforts to maintain electric service to essential customers during emergencies – and to minimize the period of interruption. However, FPUA may have to curtail power to essential customers.

811 Call Before You Dig Logo

One of the most potentially hazardous situations in residential areas, industrial plants, and construction sites is accidental contact with underground electric power lines, natural gas lines, communication lines, and other utility services.

To ensure you’re working safely, call an underground line locating service. There’s no charge for the service, and the call is free. Calling before you dig can not only save you money from a damage claim, it can also save your life.

All you have to remember is 811. That’s the FCC-designated number to call before any digging project. 811 will connect you to the local One Call Center, which will notify area utilities to mark the approximate location of underground lines. Most protection services require at least a 48-hour notice; some may be longer.

 

APWAC Uniform Color Code

Tree trimming for Safety, Reliability and the Trees’ Health

Trees are part of Florida’s natural beauty, but trees and other vegetation are also one of the leading causes of outages for utilities in the Southeast.

Maintaining trees and vegetation along distribution and transmission rights of way helps reduce outages and enhances safety for customers, as well as FPUA employees and contractors. FPUA maintains a rigorous inspection process that identifies vegetation encroachments and ensures vegetation-management activities follow required pruning and clearance specifications.

We regularly use tree-trimming contractors to conduct much of our vegetation management work. These contractors are held to the same stringent requirements for safety and quality that are observed by FPUA employees and crews. We discourage customers, property owners and untrained contractors from pruning trees and plants near power lines.

Customers who have questions or concerns about vegetation maintenance can contact a FPUA customer service representative by calling 466-1600. Our customer service representatives can provide general information on vegetation and right-of-way issues, or can connect customers to a right-of-way expert.

Safety

We balance our commitment to reliable service with the health of the trees we must trim near power lines. FPUA conducts vegetation management as part of our commitment to providing our customers with safe and reliable electric service. Trees in contact with electrical conductors are often problematic. Electrical outages, momentary interruptions, electrically induced fires, personal property damage, and even personal injury are potential outcomes. As with most utilities, trees are among the leading causes of power outages on the FPUA electric system. FPUA’s electric vegetation management program is designed to minimize tree conflicts while maximizing system reliability.

In addition to making tree safety around power lines a top priority, we encourage you to follow these guidelines:

  • Overhead/underground line clearance. Overhead power lines on or near your property can interact with trees, causing power surges and other potential risks. Underground cables can also come into contact with the root systems of trees. Don’t plant shrubs or flowers around electric transformers, which are located on the ground in a metal box on a concrete or plastic base.
  • Digging can be dangerous. Safety is the most important thing to remember when working with trees large and small. Be sure to call 811 before you dig on your property to plant or move a tree. 
  • Watch your antenna. Install TV, satellite or radio antennas away from power lines – at least the height of the antenna plus an extra 10 feet.
  • Play it safe. Educate your children about electrical safety and make them aware of overhead power lines. If your kids plan to fly a kite, make sure they’re in an open field away from electrical lines. Wet and dirty kite strings can conduct electricity.

Pruning

Electric service for you home and community is important. So are your trees. When we trim trees growing too near or into power lines, we prioritize both. FPUA uses qualified professional tree trimming contractors to manage the vegetation around our electrical facilities. To accomplish this, we use two types of pruning:

    • Lateral Pruning: removal of tree limbs at natural detachment points to help facilitate healing around the pruning site.
    • Directional Pruning: the deliberate attempt to remove those limbs growing towards the conductors and to train the tree to grow away from electrical facilities.

Cutting limbs to proper laterals helps minimize re-sprouting, which reduces the amount of re-growth into electrical facilities. Pruning to a proper lateral does not harm the tree’s natural defense systems. Instead, this helps protect the tree from decay.

Note: is not our primary intent to trim the whole tree or to trim for aesthetic purposes.

Importance of Routine Pruning

A tree that is not maintained on a routine cycle will assume its normal form, which may put it in danger of coming into contact with electrical infrastructure, resulting in the need to extensively prune or remove the tree.

Minimize the Number of Cuts

FPUA’s tree trimming crews work to minimize the number of pruning cuts to a tree in order to prevent serious injury to the tree. The intent with quality vegetation management is to remove whole branches that are growing toward utility facilities. When clearance distances are specified (for example, 10 feet) the cut should be made at the next suitable lateral of parent limb beyond the specified distance.

Directional Pruning

Directional pruning (also known as natural pruning) is most effective when tree characteristics such as size, shape and expected growth rate are taken into consideration. Proper directional pruning of trees growing directly beneath facilities or beside them helps direct future tree growth away from the facilities.

Removal of overhanging vegetation may or may not be necessary, depending on the type of utility facility, tree species and other factors. Overhang is never acceptable over high-priority facilities such as high-voltage electric transmission lines.

Palm Pruning

Many palm species grow large enough to affect utility facilities. Their large fronds sway in the wind and may break free, causing damage to equipment. Palms cannot be reduced in height or directionally pruned like other trees. The best solution for palms interfering with utility facilities is removal or relocation.

Planting

Whenever you plant trees, it’s important to consider where to plant them – and to make sure you’re planting the right trees. To realize the full benefits of trees takes a communitywide effort. That’s where you come in, and we can help.

Planting Responsibly Around Electrical Infrastructure

While we use pruning methods that prioritize the health of trees, you can do your part by planting trees and shrubs appropriate distances from power lines, transformers and other types of electrical equipment. Because city and county guidelines for planting vary, be sure to check those that apply to your community. To determine the location of FPUA electric and other underground utility service lines in Florida, call toll-free 811.

Better reliability through managed and well-placed vegetation means fewer power interruptions for you and your neighbors. More importantly, trees that touch power lines can create dangerous situations. In general, only licensed professionals should prune trees. That’s especially true with trees near electrical infrastructure. Our crews are just a phone call away – so let us know if you see trees growing into power lines.

Did you know that planting deciduous trees, which lose their leaves for part of the year, on the east and west sides of your home can cool it by up to 10 degrees in summer and warm it by 10 degrees in winter? Shading your air conditioning unit with trees can help it run more efficiently, reducing your electricity consumption by up to 10 percent. You can gain additional benefits by shading sidewalks, driveways and patios.

When Planting, Go Native – or At Least Florida-Friendly

It’s important for the sake of the trees you plant, as well as the environment, to plant native trees as much as possible and to avoid planting invasive species. Native plants are better suited to local growing conditions. Invasive species, on the other hand, can grow out of control and choke out beneficial species.

Florida-friendly plants are those that, while not native to the state, grow well in the appropriate regions and zones. With the right native and Florida-friendly vegetation, you not only have species more likely to thrive, but also plants and shrubs that need less water, fertilizer and overall care.

Problem Trees

The following non-native problem trees can cause conflicts when planted adjacent to or under overhead power lines. These trees may be prohibited in some municipalities. Any fast, tall-growing tree that could ultimately reach the power lines could cause a problem.

    • Australian Pine
    • Melaleuca
    • Brazilian Pepper
    • Tree Bamboo
    • Schefflera
    • Ficus

Consult your local nursery or landscaper for more information.

Small, immature trees planted today can grow into problem trees in the future. Selecting the right tree and planting it in the right place around power lines can eliminate potential safety hazards and improve the reliability of your electric service. In addition, your tree can achieve its proper height and form. Use the information below as a guide when planning your landscape design.

Selecting Trees for Distribution Rights of Way

When selecting a tree or shrub to plant, it is just as important to consider what you plant as it is where you plant. The right tree or shrub, planted in the right place, can give you years of beauty and value without the potential dangers of getting too close to power lines.

To help you decide which tree or shrub is right for your yard, here are a few suggestions.

    • Small Trees
    • Medium Trees
    • Large Trees
    • Shrubs

Small Trees

The following small-growing trees (no larger than 25 feet) are adaptable to the Carolinas and can be planted directly underneath power lines with a minimum of later pruning:

    • Crepe Myrtle
    • Flowering Crabapples
    • Dogwoods
    • Redbud
    • Saucer Magnolia

Medium Trees

The following medium-sized trees (maturing to 25 to 40 feet) can be planted at least 20 feet from distribution power lines:

    • Flowering Yoshino Cherry
    • Littleleaf Linden
    • Bradford Callery Pear
    • American Hornbeam

Large Trees

Be careful as you plan to visualize the tree at its full size. Large trees, such as oaks, often spread out considerably as they grow. Plant the saplings of large-growing species (maturing to 40 feet or more) at least 40 feet from distribution power lines to avoid future pruning problems:

    • Willow Oak
    • Red Oak
    • White Oak
    • Sugar Maple
    • Red Maple
    • Southern Magnolia
    • Gingko

Shrubs

Selecting and positioning shrubs is not nearly as difficult as planning for trees. In most cases, shrubs will never grow to affect power lines.

However, we need to keep as much open space as possible around pad-mounted transformers (the rectangular green boxes located near property lines). That’s why we encourage you not to plant any type of vegetation other than grass within ten feet of the opening side of the box (where the padlock is located). This open space is needed so we can get inside to perform repairs and maintenance.

Occasionally, FPUA may send employees or authorized contractors to your home to perform meter work or some other service. Please remember the following safety tips to protect yourself and your family.

  • If you ever question whether the person is a legitimate representative of FPUA, contact us to verify their identity and reason for the visit by calling 772.466.1600.
  • Always ask for identification. Employees of FPUA have identification employee ID Cards with photos on the ID card you can verify identity with.
  • In some instances, representatives from private companies may be working in your area on behalf of FPUA. If they do not have an official identification card, ask for their name and the reason for their visit, and then contact FPUA to verify the information.
  • Do not let anyone into your home unless you have verified their identity, or you have scheduled the visit through FPUA in advance.
  • Call the police immediately if you believe the person is an imposter.
  • FPUA does not sell products and services door-to-door and does not charge customers for tree trimming work performed in your area.

Keeping Our Employees Safe

FPUA makes a concentrated effort to ensure our employees stay safe. Dog bites are one of the leading causes of injury to our meter readers. That’s why we train our employees on how to prevent dog attacks.

We all love our pets and want to keep them safe, but even the nicest dogs can be aggressive when a stranger comes onto its owner’s property. You can help FPUA keep our employees – and your pet – safe by containing your dog away from the meter on reading days, or when work is scheduled on your property. To find out when your next meter reading will be, look at your bill under “Account Information.” “FPUA employees may randomly visit meters for various reasons” as Electric, Water and Gas do testing, CS requests re-reads, etc.

Thank you for helping us deliver safe, reliable energy to your home and business.

FPUA owns and operates an extensive network of electric transmission and distribution lines, as well as natural gas operations including pipelines and storage capacity. Providing safe and reliable electricity and gas requires unobstructed access for maintaining power lines, pipelines, facilities and rights of way.

Vegetation growth such as trees and overgrown shrubbery can pose a threat to FPUA equipment, as well as public safety. FPUA uses a variety of environmentally responsible and cost-effective methods to monitor and manage vegetation growth on rights of way. Managing all activities through plan reviews and encroachment removals is another way FPUA protects its right of ways and provides safe and reliable electricity and natural gas.

FPUA cares about your safety, and wants you to enjoy the comforts and convenience that natural gas provides. We encourage you to read these important gas safety tips and share them with your family and friends.

Natural gas can be a safe and reliable fuel when used properly. But, like any other source of energy, natural gas can be hazardous, and must be used and treated with care.

Gas Leaks

If you smell a gas odor, leave the premises immediately and report it.

If you smell natural gas in a localized area near a natural gas appliance, check the pilot light. Most modern automatic equipment, like water heaters and furnaces, have safety shut-offs to control the escape of natural gas if the pilot goes out. Manually controlled appliances, like a natural gas range, may have a pilot light that does not turn off but can be safely re-lit. All appliances should have a panel with the lighting instructions attached. If you can’t determine the source of a natural gas odor, and it is localized around an appliance, turn the natural gas to the appliance off at the shut-off valve and get a professional to look at the appliance.

If the source of the odor can’t be accounted for or controlled, you have an emergency. As with any emergency, stay calm. Leave the building or area and call 911.

Do not activate ignition sources.

Ignition sources can be matches or lighters, and also electrical switches. If a switch is on, leave it on; if it’s off, leave it off. Either operation can cause a spark. Keep in mind that flashlights, doorbells, and telephones can be ignition sources, too.

Don’t take chances! If you smell a natural gas odor, leave the premises immediately and go to a safer location to call 911 and the gas company.

Carbon Monoxide

When natural gas is burned completely, the resulting products are carbon dioxide (the same chemical that causes bubbles in a soda) and water vapor. Both products are usually harmless. Like most other fuels, the potential for carbon monoxide occurs when natural gas is burned incompletely.

Incomplete combustion can result in carbon monoxide which can be dangerous. That’s why it is important to have natural gas appliances routinely inspected and serviced to ensure proper operation, including a check of vents and flues.

Another factor that may affect the safe operation of vents and flues is the availability of make-up air. Think of your home as a box. Just like humans, appliances need fresh air. You can’t expect flue products to go “up and out the chimney” if you don’t allow air in. This principle applies to any vented device (e.g., fireplaces and exhaust fans). The flue products themselves are not a problem as long as they are replaced by fresh air.

Without adequate ventilation, complete combustion will not occur. Instead of carbon dioxide being produced, carbon monoxide will be generated-a potentially deadly situation.

System Damage

Find out where to call before digging in the ground. It’s the law.

Distribution piping systems are used to deliver natural gas. When natural gas systems leak, natural gas will normally rise away from the surface and dissipate. Trouble may occur, however, if natural gas migrates under the ground and into buildings, sewers, and duct systems such as those used for underground telephone and electric lines. The majority of natural gas distribution incidents are caused by damage to natural gas lines from construction and other excavation activities. When lines are dug into they may leak with no one reporting the damage, or leak in such large quantities that an instant emergency results.

For the public’s protection, our lawmakers have made it mandatory for contractors or landowners to have underground utilities located before excavation activities can begin. Our company, and other businesses with buried investments, are working together to provide locating services to anyone planning to excavate in the vicinity of underground gas, electric, telephone or other buried utilities.

Homeowners can protect themselves and their neighbors by keeping an eye on things and by asking excavators if they have called the appropriate locating services.

Homeowners should also not forget to set a good example by calling for their own projects. A task as simple as installing a fence or planting a new tree in the middle of the yard can turn out deadly if an underground gas or electric line is hit.

It’s a free service. FPUA will send someone out to mark the underground facilities if you call two days in advance.

Call before you dig. It’s the law.