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Electrical Safety

 

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Find out more about providing a safety demo for your business, class, or organization on our Safety Demos page. 


Call 811 Before You Dig

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Colorado law requires underground utilities to be located BEFORE anyone digs. Whether you are a contractor working on a site or a homeowner working around your own home, digging can be dangerous if you don't check for underground wiring, cable or other underground utilities such as natural gas, water, or sewer lines.

Contact the Utility Notification Center of Colorado at 811 at least three days before you plan to dig and they will locate all underground utilities on your property at no cost to you. Want to avoid spending a day in the dark? It's as simple as 8-1-1. If residing in Utah call 1-800-662-4111 or log on to www.bluestakes.org.

Call 811 from anywhere in the country a few days prior to digging, and your call will be routed to your local One Call Center. Tell the operator where you're planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, they'll send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you'll know what's below - and be able to dig safely.

Remember; always call 811 before you start any digging project! You'll avoid injury, expense, embarrassment - and a very inconvenient day in the dark.


Electrical Regulations

Electrical Wiring Inspections

EEA cannot provide electrical service to new construction, remodeling or mobile home applicants until a licensed inspector has inspected all wiring and installations on the applicant's side of the meter and all buried wiring has been properly backfilled. In Colorado, inspections are done by the State Electrical Inspector. You may contact the Inspector at (303) 869-3457 or toll-free at (855) 451-9794, or contact via e-mail at www.dora.state.co.us through the Department of Regulatory Agencies.

If an electrical permit is required, contact the Colorado State Electrical Board (1-303-894-2300) or Utah Building Inspector (1-435-587-3221). EEA has the permit applications available at the Engineering and Operations facility located at 23999 Road L.4, Cortez, Colorado, 81321.

National Electrical Code

All customers' electrical wiring and equipment must meet NEC requirements (available online here). A copy of the code can be reviewed in EEA’s Engineering and Operations facility located at 23999 Road L.4, Cortez, Colorado.

National Electrical Safety Code

EEA is obligated to construct electric power lines and services in such a way as to guard the public and our own employees from physical and electrical hazards. NESC spells out specific measures that define clearances of wire to ground, wire to wire, wire to building, physical strength of poles and other line supports and safe ground cover depths over underground lines.

Easement Encroachment

All electric line routes, whether overhead or underground, have an implied or well-defined "clear zone" or easement area that is legally protected from specific activities that may hamper safe operation and maintenance of, or access to, electric lines.

Ten Foot Rule

If work is to be performed within 10 feet of high voltage overhead lines, EEA must be contacted at 970-565-4444 or 1-800-709-3726 to arrange for safety provisions. This law applies to any person or business contracting to do work or perform any activity which may bring an individual or piece of equipment within 10 feet of high voltage overhead lines. Violations of this rule may result in state sanctioned fines.

Excavation Notification

Anyone requiring excavation must have all underground facilities located and inform the excavation contractor of all existing underground facilities. This law applies to any person or business contracting to do work or perform any activity which may require excavation. Two (2) business days advance notice is required before excavation work is performed. In Colorado call 1-800-922-1987 or visit Call Before You Dig  - 811; in Utah call 1-800-662-4111 or log on to www.bluestakes.org .

Meter Tampering

Theft of electricity is a violation of State Law and persons found tampering with their electric meter will be prosecuted.


Portable Generator Safety Pamphlet


Indoor Safety Tips

  • Have a licensed, qualified heating technician service your furnace or heating system. 
  • Change heating system filters to keep air passing through. 
  • Replace batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.  
  • Don’t use electrical appliances around wet areas like bathtubs or sinks.
  • Dry your hands before using electrical appliances.
  • Keep electric heaters on level surfaces and 6-8 feet from furniture, curtains and drapes.

Protecting Equipment

Protecting Your Electrical Equipment

Although EEA is providing state of the art utility surge protection, no equipment is available that we can install on our lines to protect your sensitive loads. Adequate protection can only be obtained by applying power conditioning equipment near the load to be protected — which means on the customer's premises. Given the fact that potentially harmful power disturbances exist and that EEA cannot protect your sensitive equipment from these irregularities, the choice to protect or not to protect your equipment falls on you.

Power quality protection equipment can be viewed much like insurance. One should be careful in deciding what the true costs of operating without protection may be. The most obvious cost is the potential for damage to the sensitive equipment in your home or business. Consider the potential cost from loss of important data or business operations. Failure of your business phone system or electronic cash register can cause temporary inability to conduct business.

Just as with insurance, different power quality protection equipment is available to cover different risks and many levels of coverage are available. Generally, better protection is more expensive. There are a number of different types of protective equipment available including transient impulse suppressers (most commonly used with personal computers), line conditioners, secondary arresters, and uninterruptible power supplies.

If you have power quality problems, EEA can help you determine what problems may exist at your location and what solutions make sense for your home or business. Contact EEA's Member Services at 565-4444 or 1-800-709-3726 for assistance.


Report Dangers

You can help us out by reporting electric power line conditions that need attention such as:

  • Poles that are broken or leaning
  • Wires sagging too low or broken
  • Trees growing into the line
  • Broken insulators
  • Sparks coming from electrical wires or equipment
  • Excavation activity in areas where buried lines are likely to exist
  • Construction activity under power lines
  • If you see a problem, please let us know. Empire wants to keep electric lines in good shape to give you the best and most reliable service.

24 hours a day call 970-565-4444 or 1-800-709-3726 to report dangerous conditions.


Safety Links & Resources

EEA is available to you to address any electrical-related safety concerns you may have. Contact EEA at 970-565-4444 or 800-709-3726 with questions, concerns, or for more information.

Below is a listing of resources on the web to help you educate your friends and family on the hazards of electricity.

  • SafeElectricity.org promotes safe use of electricity, raises awareness of electrical dangers, offers bright ideas for safe and efficient use of energy, and numerous resources, including an extensive YouTube video library.
  • Electric Safety Foundation International is dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace.
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard.
  • National Fire Protection Association is the world's leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety, disseminating codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks.
  • The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association representing all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. EEI's mission is to ensure members’ success by advocating public policy, expanding market opportunities, and providing strategic business information.
  • Farm Safety for Just Kids promotes a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to children and youth.
  • EnergyHog.org provides resources and information for both young people and adults to help them bust energy hogs in their homes, in schools, and at work.
  • EEA's Kids Korner teaches kids how to react and what to do in an emergency or accident, in cases of electric shock, fire, or when they smell natural gas. It provides numerous teaching scenarios and materials for electrical safety education.
  • Touchstone® Kids Energy Zone is a fun, interactive, educational site for kids, parents, and educators. When you play Touchstone Energy Kids Zone games  you will learn about saving energy and electrical safety, print color pages, and more!

 

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