When a customer needed to add an electrical panel to their home, they sought the help of a local contractor. Unfortunately, the contractor was not a licensed electrician and he wired the new panel incorrectly. He also pulled the meter to disconnect power multiple times while working in the customer’s home. Both instances could have resulted in an electrical fire, physical injuries or even death.
Dawson PPD’s technology helps report power outages. An employee noticed a disconnected meter through a computer reading and sent a maintenance lineworker to investigate. The lineworker discovered the pulled meter and disconnected the power for safety purposes.
Major residential electrical upgrades require an electrical inspection according to Nebraska law. It is important for homeowners to contact Dawson PPD to ensure that the District’s existing electrical equipment can support the upgrades. Without proper notification, the electric service may be disconnected or unreliable. Damage to either Dawson PPD or the homeowner’s property may occur.
It is not safe for unqualified individuals to pull a meter to disconnect power.
“Pulling the meter does not guarantee that the power is disconnected,” said Safety and Loss Prevention Coordinator Dean Kunkee. “There’s a high chance for an arc flash if the meter is pulled. This can cause an electrical fire and seriously injure or kill a person.”
An arc flash is a phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another, or to the ground. The results are often violent. Injury or death can occur when a person is near the arc flash.
“The main thing to remember is the meter is not a disconnect device,” he said.
Consider installing a disconnect or double-throw switch to safely disconnect power. Dawson PPD offers a rebate for a double-throw (also known as transfer switches) worth $200-300. Customers may also request temporary electrical disconnection.
It is also important to hire a licensed, qualified electrician when planning major electrical upgrades. Homeowners may search the Nebraska State Electrical Division’s website for licensed electricians.
Dawson PPD is committed to the electrical safety of the public. If you are planning to do any electrical work in your home, please safely disconnect electrical power and consider hiring a licensed electrician.
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