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Power for Progress: Electric safety and a new school year

As the new semester gets underway, the Grand River Dam Authority is sharing some helpful “back to school” electric safety tips.

Power for Progress…

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority


Electric safety and a new school year

It’s that time of year again, when classrooms, dorm rooms and school campuses are filling up. As we prepare to shift from summer mode back into a more structured school routine, it’s also a great time for some electric safety education. 

Whether your student is headed off to Pre-K, junior high or moving off to college, the Grand Dam Authority wants them to stay safe this semester. With that in mind, here are some safety tips that are ready to go back to school with your student:  

  • Setting up a new computer workstation for homework, or maybe organizing your electronics in the dorm room? Do NOT nail or staple extension cords to walls or baseboard. And if any cords are frayed or damaged, replace them.
  • If you need extension cords in the dorm room, remember to use only cords which have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. Also, make sure they have been properly rated for their intended use. Finally, don’t run them under rugs or through doorways.
  • Got a new lamp for that new homework desk? Make sure you use proper wattage for all lamps and lighting.
  • Let your young students know to NEVER put a paperclip, a pencil or any writing utensils of any kind into an electrical outlet.
  • For parents of younger students: Will your kids be walking to and from the bus stop or school? Make sure they know to stay clear of all high voltage electrical components along the route. Also, because Mother Nature or accidents can sometimes cause power lines to go down, make sure your children know to STAY AWAY from these lines. The ground around power lines can still be energized – up to 35 feet away. Also, NEVER touch or step in water near a downed power line.
  • Do you have a new driver in the family that will be driving back and forth from school for the first time this semester? Remind them to watch carefully for any utility crews at work along their route to school. And if they would happen to be in an accident involving power poles or power lines, they should ALWAYS assume the electric is live and use extreme caution.
  • In such instances, staying in the vehicle and waiting for help is nearly always the safest thing to do. However, if they must exit the vehicle due to car fire, they should jump from the vehicle, with both feet. Never touch the car and the ground at the same time. Then hop away from the vehicle.

Your friends at GRDA want you to stay safe and have a great school year!


GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.


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