Property Owners Urged To Call Electrician If Needed

Thursday, December 13th 2007, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

The City of Tulsa’s Development Services Division, which licenses contractors and tradesmen and inspects electrical, plumbing and mechanical work, has helpful advice for property owners who may have damage to the electrical connections, meter boxes or weather heads that supply electricity.

Following this advice could cut hours or days off of the process of getting power restored in many cases.

Electrical transmission lines, including those running to individual structures, are the responsibility of the PSO. But the service box, weather head and wires running from the meter into the structure are the responsibility of the property owner.

When PSO crews find a structure at which the service equipment is damaged or pulled loose from its mountings, they place a door-hanger at that structure advising the occupants to contact a licensed electrician to make the repairs before power can be restored.

In this situation, with many thousands of structures without power, it could be several days before PSO crews arrive to inspect individual properties for damage.

Property owners can make a visual inspection themselves, and, if obvious damage is seen, they can go ahead and contact a licensed electrician to make the repairs. If the repairs are made, then PSO can go ahead and restore service as soon as they arrive instead of waiting for repairs to be made later.

Hiring electricians ahead of time could cut days from the process of getting electricity restored.

Property Owners Should Use Extreme Caution. Do not handle or attempt to manipulate electrical lines or service boxes. They could be charged and cause injury or death.

Make visual inspections only! Obvious damage like wires and boxes torn loose from their mountings, shattered meters, etc., can be detected without touching the equipment. If such damage is noted, a licensed electrician should be summoned. If you are not sure whether your electrical service has been damaged, PSO will make that determination when they attempt to reconnect.

Electricians are licensed both by the state and the city. Approximately 400 are licensed in Tulsa. A list of those is available on the website.

The Development Services division has streamlined the permitting process to make it easier for Tulsa-licensed electricians to get multiple permits quickly if needed. Electricians have escrow accounts with the City and can call and get needed permits over the phone.

Because there may be a need for more licensed electricians during coming days, Development Services invites state-licensed electricians to come register and set up an account at the City’s One-Stop Permit Center, 111 S. Greenwood, in downtown Tulsa. That will enable them to get their permits and make their inspection requests more quickly and efficiently.

They can register and pickup information packets that will get them operating in Tulsa quickly.

Development Services Director Jack Page cautions property owners to: “Hire only licensed electricians.”

“Improper wiring could cause structural fires, even delayed fires that might erupt later, if the work is not performed properly,” Page said. “It is very important that electrical work be done by someone who is licensed.”

“We want to help all affected home and business owners and PSO in getting service restored as quickly as possible,” Page said. “Making these visual inspections can cut days of delay out of the process.”

Page said there is no need to call electricians ahead of time if visible damage isn’t detected.