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It's Large and In Charge: Respect the Mighty Substation

Date: October 10, 2019
Topics: Press Releases

You may live near or drive by a substation each day and not give it much thought unless you happen to be an electrical engineer or utility employee.

Although they look like something that could transform into a giant-sized, building-stomping futuristic robot, substations play an important role in providing electricity to your work or home.

As most people know, fenced-in substations are part of the electrical generation, transmission and distribution system. Transformers are contained inside many of them, and their job (as its name implies) is to transform voltage from high to low or vice versa depending on its location on the distribution path.

Besides transformers, substations usually house switches, protective devices and control equipment. In large substations, circuit breakers are used to interrupt any short circuits or overloads that may occur.

Stay Safe Around Substations

Substations carry high voltages of electricity and they should be respected. PEC and Safe Electricity remind you to:

  • • NEVER go near a substation.
  • • Teach children to NEVER go near a substation or climb its fence to retrieve a ball or pet. Let them know they should always stay away and tell a parent or adult, who should call us to report the incident during office hours at (580) 332-3031 and (580) 272-1500 after hours.

  • • In general, teach children about the dangers of electricity from a young age.

  • • If a transformer near your home catches on fire, DO NOT try to put out the fire yourself (water and electricity don’t mix). Call 9-1-1 to report the fire.

  • • If you see an issue with or notice something unusual about a substation, transformer or power line, contact us. Never try to address a problem yourself.

Once you have the safety tips down, consider a fun fact to know about transmission substations. There are three types: step-up, step-down, and distribution. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration):

  • • A step-up version receives electric power from a nearby generating facility and uses a large power transformer to increase the voltage so it can travel to distant locations.

  • • Step-down transmission substations are located at switching points on an electrical grid and connect different parts of the electrical system.

  • • And finally, distribution substations are located near end-users like you and me and change voltages to lower levels to power homes and businesses.
For more information about substations, transformers, and anything else concerning electricity, call us at (580) 332-3031 (Ada area) or toll free at 1-877-456-3031. For more information about electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.
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