CALL BEFORE YOU DIG
Colorado state law requires anyone doing any type of excavation to give notice two business days in advance.
Notice should be given to the Utility Notification Center of Colorado (UNCC) by calling 1-800-922-1987 or using the following UNCC website
The UNCC will notify the utility operators in your area so they can determine what utility-owned underground facilities may exist at your planned excavation site.
GCEA will send a cable locator to your premises within two business days of your request. GCEA only locates up to the meter and it is the customer's responsibility to have locates done on cable that they own, which is anything beyond the meter.
REPORT DANGEROUS CONDITIONS
You can help GCEA keep everyone safe by reporting conditions on our lines that need attentions. Some examples are:
- Poles that are broken or leaning
- Wires that are broken or sagging too low
- Broken insulators
- Sparks coming from lines or transformers
- Broken meter covers or damaged meter sockets.
Report dangerous conditions by calling 970-641-3520 or 1-800-726-3523
GCEA has a legal right and responsibility to clear trees and brush along power line rights-of-way to ensure safe and reliable electric service. Regular maintenance helps us avoid power outages.
For safety reasons, members are encouraged to contact GCEA before attempting to cut trees that are close to power lines. GCEA will trim trees near energized lines upon request.
We have all heard stories of people being electrocuted by coming into contact with power lines. Whether it is a child whose kite has fallen across a power line or a construction worker whose equipment comes too close to power lines, both incidents may lead to a deadly result.
Even though kite strings are not conductors of electricity, they can conduct a current when they become dirty or covered with sweat. Parents should instruct their children to fly kites in open spaces that are free of power lines. But if a kite or kite string should come into contact with a power line, tell your child to let go immediately. While kites are replaceable, your child's life is not. You can call GCEA and a lineman will be happy to retrieve the kite for you.
Contractors who work in close proximity to power lines should be aware of the dangers and the regulations that govern activity near high voltage power lines. The Colorado Rural Electric Association provides a brochure that highlights the regulations contractors need to know and provides phone numbers to call to notify utilities of work being done near power lines.
Click here to download the brochure.
WINTER STORM PREPAREDNESS/COLD WEATHER POWER OUTAGES
Winter can be a beautiful time of the year with white snow and sparkling ice, but that same winter weather can also wreak havoc on communities. It can cause roads to be treacherous, schools to be closed, and sometimes your power to go out. Are you prepared for what winter weather can bring?
GCEA's chief operations officer Roger Grogg says,"Heavy snow and accumulating ice can easily bring tree limbs down onto power lines, cutting off power to homes and businesses. Making plans now for a potential power outage can make riding out a prolonged power outage safer and more comfortable."
Some steps to help keep your family safe and comfortable during a winter storm need to happen long before one is forecast. A good way to start your planning is to put an emergency kit together.
Safe Electricity offers the following list of items to help you prepare your kit:
- Water - stock up on bottled water for consumption
- Food - have at least enough for 3 to 7 days that includes non-perishable packaged or canned foods, juices, foods for infants or the elderly, and snack foods
- Utensils - include a non-electric can opener, cooking tools, paper plates, and plastic utensils
- Blankets, pillows, and warm clothing items
- First aid kit, medicine, and prescription drugs
- Toiletries, hygiene items, moist towelettes
- Flashlight and batteries - be sure to include extra batteries
- Radio and clock - use battery-operated radios and clocks; also consider purchasing a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio
- Telephone - keep cell phone chargers (wall, car, and/or solar) on hand and, if you have a landline, a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
- Emergency numbers - keep a list of emergency telephone numbers, including the local utility company
- Cash and credit cards
- Important documents
- Tools - keep a set in your kit; can include duct tape, screw drivers, pliers, safety goggles, etc.
- Toys, books, and games
- Pet-care items
- Supplies for alternate heating methods you may have, such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove
Other tasks that can be completed well in advance of a storm are to have the power company or a tree-trimming professional remove limbs that could fall on power lines if they become covered in ice or snow, to insulate your home by installing storm windows or plastic covering on windows, to caulk cracks in your home, and to make sure your heating system is in proper working order.
If your power goes out due to a winter storm, you might be in for a prolonged power outage as crews work through the harsh weather to get your power back on. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you contact your power provider as soon as you can so they know you have lost power. Other actions you can take to stay safe and comfortable are:
- Stay inside and dress warm in layered clothing.
- Close off unneeded rooms.
- When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards, and be sure to properly ventilate. Always keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
- Place a rolled-up rug or heavy towel in front of the bottom of doors to minimize any cold drafts from entering the house.
- Cover windows at night.
- Keep a close eye on the temperature in your home. Infants and people over the age of 65 are more susceptible to the cold. You may want to stay with friends or relatives or go to a shelter if you cannot keep your home warm.
For more information on how to prepare for a winter storm and how to keep your family safe during and after a winter storm, visit SafeElectricity.org