Electricity Theft: Not Worth the Risk
Electric cooperatives across the country cope with thieves—folks who deliberately tamper with their electric meter to steal power. Not only is this practice extremely dangerous, it’s a serious crime that results in hefty fines and jail time. According to the Cooperative Research Network, a division of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, power surging through a compromised meter can cause an electrical catastrophe. A short circuit could produce an arc flash bright enough to cause blindness and powerful enough to launch fragments of shrapnel-like, red-hot debris. Serious injury or death from electrocution, explosion, or fire often results from meter tampering. Only trained Pee Dee Electric personnel wearing protective clothing should work on meters. Since everyone pays for lost power, please let us know if you suspect meter tampering. Call Pee Dee Electric at (800) 992-1626 to report possible theft of service. All information can be given anonymously.
Metal theft—the crime that endangers lives and can result in thousands of dollars in damages ultimately paid for by you—continues to plague electric utilities all over America. Follow these guidelines to guard against electrical dangers and prevent copper theft.
- Never enter or touch equipment inside a substation; stay away from power lines and anything touching a power line.
- If you notice anything unusual with electric facilities, such as an open substation gate, open equipment, or hanging wire, contact Pee Dee Electric immediately.
- If you see anyone around electric substations or electric facilities other than Pee Dee Electric personnel or contractors, call the police.
- Install motion-sensor lights on the outside of your house and business to deter possible thieves.
- Store tools and wire cutters in a secure location, and never leave them out while you are away.
- If you work in construction, do not leave any wires or plumbing unattended or leave loose wire at the job site, especially overnight.
- Help spread the word about the deadly consequences that can result from trying to steal copper or aluminum wire.
Please help us prevent these thefts. If you notice anything unusual, call Pee Dee Electric immediately at (800) 992-1626. If you see anyone other than Pee Dee Electric personnel or contractors around substations or other electric facilities, call the police.