Safety is an everyday thing, especially for line crews; however, spring and fall are times when we tend to talk about it more with our members. Farmers are back in the fields and homeowners are eager to get out of the house, and kids are outside riding bikes and playing in the parks. All of these things require additional vigilance on everyone’s part to ensure we all stay safe.
Our farmers will spend long hours using heavy equipment that can be inherently dangerous. Homeowners will bring out saws, mowers and ladders as spring cleanup begins, and our kids will be crossing busy streets riding bikes to school and play. With all this activity going on, we need to be reminded to follow safety instructions and to watch out for each other at the same time.
May is National Electric Safety month. As a member-owned electric cooperative, we are committed to keeping members and employees safe. Electrical safety is a common topic with the employees of Nodak Electric Cooperative, but May is a time when we make an extra effort to educate and inform our members about the dangers of electricity. While electricity is a necessity in modern-day life, the same electricity used to power our daily lives can be dangerous, even life-threatening if used improperly. We regularly print articles in this publication with tips on how to avoid being hurt by electricity. I would encourage you to take a few moments and read those short articles and ask yourself if you are following those potentially life-saving tips.
One recommendation we don’t stress often enough is to have a qualified electrician tackle all of your wiring projects. Not only will they ensure your project is done properly, they will notice if something is not up to current electrical code. The standards for safe electrical wiring can change from time to time. Even though your system may have been installed correctly according to the code in effect at the time it was put in, it may not adhere to today’s National Electric Code. For example, your wiring may have been done before GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets were required, but depending on their location they may be required for new construction today. A qualified professional would notice such a departure from current code requirements and suggest you change them out. Seemingly simple improvements like this can make a dramatic difference in securing your family’s safety. For their sake and yours, consider hiring a qualified electrician for your next project no matter how big or small.
For those who attended our annual meeting, thank you for taking the time to participate in your cooperative’s business. We had 2,400 members who participated in our Board of Directors’ election through mail-in ballots and at the meeting. Congratulations to Paul Sigurdson and David Hagert who were reelected to new three-year terms and welcome to our newest board member, Dave Brag, who is beginning his first three-year term. This meeting also marked the end of the long career for Director Doug Lund. Doug served our cooperative with distinction for more than 27 years. I would like to thank Doug for his strong commitment over the years and wish him well in his new endeavors.