Safety & Health

How to safely use herbicides and pesticides

As a boy, I had the wonderful opportunity to grow up around a farm. I got to help plant, cultivate, grow and harvest crops, raise and work cattle, and get up way before the sun did to milk dairy cows on a Holstein dairy farm. Back in the day of the small square bales, I think I hauled enough to cross ...Read More


Have a safe spring

As the snow and ice melt away, many homeowners take to the outdoors to tackle projects ­including cleaning out gutters, trimming trees, mending fence and digging in the yard. Regardless of your to-do list of outdoor projects, electrical safety needs to be a high priority. Safe Electricity urges homeowners to take a few minutes before a project to prepare for ...Read More


Safety from the storm

This winter has been horrible and I hope you and your ­family remained warm and safe during the snow storms. We’re not through with winter yet, so review last month’s column for tips on surviving power outages. Soon we’ll be enjoying warm, sunny spring weather, but no matter how long good weather lasts, storm clouds will roll in sooner or ...Read More

Tips on surviving power outages

Power outages are at the very least inconvenient disruptions to our lives. While your electric co-op does everything it can to reduce the possibility of an outage to your home or business, they do occur. This time of year we worry about ice and snow storm outages, but there are a ­variety of reasons outages can occur, including:• Wind breaking ...Read More


Damage control after the storm

In mid-November our state was hit by EF3 tornados that swept across 15 counties and federal disaster assistance was approved for Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford counties. At Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Director of Communications Jerri Schaefer said, “The tornado destroyed 29 homes on Unionville Road near Brookport, Ill., ...Read More

Have you checked every bulb?

It’s that time of year again. When we will start out with the hope of making this holiday season the best it has ever been! In my house I know the time has come when my wife starts hounding me to start pulling the multiple tubs of decorations from the attic, closet, and every other nook and cranny we have ...Read More


Experience is a great learning tool

As a kid growing up I remember things being much different than today. And, as I get older, I ­realize that I sound much more like my ­parents used too. I can remember ­saying to myself, I will never be like that. I think that each generation has the same goal in mind though - to live a happy successful life and ...Read More


The fire that almost destroyed Chicago

October is National Fire Prevention Month. Its origin goes back to October of 1871 and the Great Chicago Fire. On Sunday, October 8, 1871 just after nine o’clock in the evening, a fire broke out in the barn behind the home of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary on the west side of Chicago. The O’Leary milk cow kicking over a lantern ...Read More

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Close encounters with electricity can be prevented

Before Paige Koeppel had a close encounter with electricity, she never gave it a second thought. She is now a college student with a bright future and is sharing her experience to help educate others. When Paige was 12 years old, she was drawing a bath and grabbed the metal towel rack to steady ­herself. Paige’s parents found her on ...Read More

This improperly wired overhead lamp switch reveals a potential home danger. Electrical code requires wire nuts for connections, but these ­connections have been taped. The wires could become exposed and touch the lamp’s metal base, resulting in electrical shock. 
Source: Underwriters Laboratories

Home wiring health check

Electric capacity is a major concern with older wiring systems. Homeowners in the 1930s didn’t use a lot of elec­trical appliances, except for a refrigerator, a few lights, and a radio. An explosion of appliance purchases followed in the late 1940s and early ’50s. But the arrival of air ­conditioning during the 1960s soon rendered many mid-century home elec­trical systems ...Read More