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news release

NYSEG and RG&E Advise Contractors and Customers to Be Safe When Working and Playing Outdoors

Rochester, NY – NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, remind contractors and customers who are working on or planning outdoor projects to be mindful of overhead power lines and underground utilities.

“Ladders, gutters and aluminum siding can all conduct electricity. Making contact with a power line with any of these items could be deadly,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “Digging into underground utilities could also have very serious consequences.”

NYSEG and RG&E offer these safety tips:

> Look Up…Look Out!
NYSEG and RG&E caution contractors and individuals to carefully check work areas for potential hazards such as overhead power lines.

> Call 811 Before You Dig
Contractors are required by law to call Dig Safely New York before beginning any excavation work, and NYSEG and RG&E strongly encourage do-it-yourselfers who are planning projects like putting up a fence, planting a tree or doing drainage work to call as well. Call Dig Safely New York (811 or 1.800.962.7962) or visit www.digsafelynewyork.com at least two full days but not more than 10 days before work is to begin.

> Play It Safe Around Electricity
Adults should remind children to stay away from electrical equipment, including pad-mounted transformers and substations, and to never climb utility poles or trees near power lines. Also, no one should ever fly kites near power lines.

> Water and Electricity Don’t Mix
Keep power tools away from water – rain, wet ground, swimming pools, sprinklers and garden hoses. Add weatherproof covers and GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters) on outdoor electrical outlets to protect against electrical shock.

> Trees and Power Lines
Leave the cutting and pruning of trees near power lines to professionals.

> Be Alert for Natural Gas Leaks
If natural gas leaks from pipes or appliances it can be dangerous. A natural gas leak is usually recognized by smell, sight or sound. Smell: Natural gas is naturally odorless. For your safety, a distinctive odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added. Sight: You may see a white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust. You may also see vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason. Sound: You may hear an unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling. To report a natural gas leak to NYSEG, call 1.800.572.1121 or 911. To report a natural gas leak to RG&E, call 1.800.743.1701 or 911.

For more information, visit www.nyseg.com or www.rge.com, click on “Usage and Safety” to find many valuable safety tips.