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Spokane, Wash., April 7// -- With warmer weather drawing people outside for springtime projects and fun, Avista reminds customers to keep a few basic safety tips in mind and stay safe.
Keep Your Distance - For your protection, stay at least 10 feet away when operating equipment or working around power poles and lines. Distances in the air can be deceiving, so be alert.
Look Up and Live - When working outside with ladders, antennas, irrigation pipes and long-handled tools, such as pool-cleaning equipment or tree pruners, always check to see if power lines are near. Have a spotter watch to help determine when you come near the danger zone of 10 feet. Never use electric power tools or appliances in the rain or with water underfoot.
Do not climb or place ladders against a utility pole or transmission tower for any reason. If an animal is trapped in a tree or power pole, animal handlers suggest placing food out and leaving the animal alone. The animal should eventually come down.
Downed Lines - If you see a downed power line, stay as far away as possible, and call Avista Utilities immediately at (800) 227-9187 to report the problem. Always assume the line is energized. Don't touch it or attempt to move it. The entire line could be dangerous, not just the loose end.
Call Before You Dig - If you plan to do any digging on your property for projects such as planting trees and shrubs or installing a fence, mailbox post, deck footing or sprinkler system, don't take chances. One dig with a shovel or backhoe could strike a buried natural gas or electric line. Protect yourself and your property.
At least two working days before you dig, call the Underground Utility Location Service in your area to find the location of any buried wires, cables or natural gas pipelines. You never know what may be right below your feet.
Underground Utility Location Service
Before digging or starting an excavation project, call the number listed below for your community:
Washington: (800) 424-5555
Benewah, Shoshone Counties: (800) 398-3285
Bonner, Boundary Counties: (800) 626-4950
Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce Counties: (800) 342-1585
Kootenai County: (800) 428-4950
Oregon: (800) 332-2344
South Lake Tahoe: (800) 227-2600
Don't Fly Kites Near Power Lines - Windy spring days are great for flying kites, but be aware of the risks. Here are a few simple kite flying rules:
. Don't fly kites near power lines. If a kite should get snagged on a power line, leave it there. Don't try to pull it down. Call Avista Utilities, and a crew will respond to the problem as quickly as possible. Never climb a power pole for any reason.
. Always use wood or paper in a kite, never use metal or wire.
. Always use dry, clean string, never anything metallic, including crochet or knitting yarn.
. Never fly kites on rainy or stormy days.
. If your kite gets snagged in a tree, check to see if power lines run through the tree or might be in contact with the branches. If so, stay out of the tree.
. These safety rules apply when flying a model airplane.
Don't Enter Substations - Remind children (and adults) to never enter a substation for any reason. Although protected by high fences and warning signs, substations can be very dangerous places. The cost to replace a ball cannot compare to the possible loss of life and limb from contact with high voltage electricity.
By taking basic precautions and using common sense, this spring can be a safe, fun and productive season. For more safety tips and a visit to Wattson, the energy and safety watchdog for kids, visit our web site at www.avistautilities.com
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 330,000 electric and 305,000 natural gas customers in four western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistautilities.com
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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