Education & Safety

Brighten your future.

We provide a range of educational materials and opportunities for students and educators to learn more about Santee Cooper, electricity, electric safety and more.

Santee Cooper Kids

Brighten Your Future

Santee Cooper invites you to become an e-SMART kid. Becoming e-SMART means learning about electricity and how to use it safely and wisely. Check out our games and activities, and you’ll be on your way!

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Electrical Safety

Call Before You Dig

Before doing any type of digging, call the Palmetto Utility Protection Service (PUPS) at 811 to have underground utilities located. South Carolina law requires that utility companies be given 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to mark their lines. PUPS notifies Santee Cooper and other member utilities to locate their lines. For more information on PUPS or to submit an electronic locate ticket (e-notice), visit their website.

Visit PUPS site

Most power outages are short-lived and do not warrant the use of auxiliary power, but some homeowners use portable electric generators during extended outages. To ensure safety of all involved, electric generators should be operated according to strict guidelines:

  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions completely.
  • Never connect the portable generator to existing house wiring.
  • Connect the generator directly to appliances. Refer to owner's manual for specific instructions on load capacity, approved power cords, etc.
  • Operate generators outside because they emit harmful fumes and contain combustible fuel.
  • Add fuel to the generator only when it is not running and has had time to sufficiently cool.
  • Always properly ground the generator before operating. Refer to the owner's manual for specific instructions.

• Never touch a downed power line or anything the line is touching. The line could still be live even if it doesn't appear to be energized. Call Santee Cooper at 888-769-7688 for assistance.

• Never try to move a downed power line.

• Never drive over downed power lines. If a power line makes contact with your vehicle as a result of an accident, do not get out. If it is necessary to exit, avoid touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Shuffle your feet rather than taking large steps to minimize the chance of electricity flowing through the ground and then through you.

• Overhead power lines are usually bare and not insulated. When using or carrying long objects (e.g. ladders, pruning tools, swimming pool poles, antennas, pipes, etc.) be aware of overhead power lines, and do not allow objects to touch them.

• Always check for overhead power lines before launching a sailboat or raising its mast.

• Never climb trees near overhead power lines.

• Kites, model airplanes, drones, etc., should never be flown near overhead power lines. Do not attempt to retrieve objects that get caught in power lines, and always use non-metallic string or cord to fly kites.

• Never climb utility structures (such as poles) or enter substations.

In areas with underground power lines, there is often pad-mounted equipment located along rights-of-way. Unless it's been damaged, this equipment is normally safe. Regardless, do not allow children to play on or around these objects. Stay away from damaged or open equipment and notify Santee Cooper immediately by calling 888-769-7688.

Santee Cooper needs to have direct access to the equipment in the event of a power outage or to perform maintenance. If you plant shrubs or other vegetation nearby, please allow 10 ft. of space on the sides with doors and 3 ft. of space on the other sides. If you have any questions, contact us.

It is required that cranes operate no closer than 10 feet from overhead power lines for voltages up to 50 kV. Cranes should keep an additional 4 inches of clearance for every 1 kV over 50 kV. 

Cranes shall not approach within 20 feet of overhead electric lines until the crane operator has contacted Santee Cooper to discuss their operations (in accordance with OSHA rule 29 CFR 1926.1408). If Santee Cooper determines the lines involved are operating below 50 kV, work may be allowed to proceed with an approach distance of no closer than 10 feet from the lines. 

If a crane contacts a power line, the operator should avoid leaving the equipment as long as contact is maintained. If someone must exit a crane while it is still in contact with a power line, the person should avoid touching the equipment and the ground at the same time. Shuffle your feet instead of taking large steps to minimize the chance of electricity flowing through the ground and then through your body.

Look Up and Live

Power lines can be deadly. Before moving a ladder, or working on a roof or with lifting equipment, search carefully for overhead power lines, poles and wires. Look for lines that may hidden be by trees or buildings.

Make sure everyone at the job site knows about nearby overhead and underground utilities and where they are located.

Assume all lines are energized and potentially dangerous.

Keep Your Distance

Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines carrying up to 50 kV. Cranes and derricks must remain at least 20 feet away from lines up to 350 kV, and 50 feet away from lines greater than 350 kV. As voltage increases, clearance distances also increase.


Downed Line

If a power line is downed near you, shuffle your feet in small steps to get at least 30 feet away so you don't get shocked. Warn others to do the same.

If you’re in danger of the line falling or causing a fire, jump as far away from the equipment as you can and land with both feet together. Hop or shuffle away from the equipment with your feet together to reduce the risk of electric shock. Call 911.


Call before you dig

Always call 811 before you dig or excavate in any way. They will ensure you will not be in danger of hitting power lines or other utilities.


Understand locator marks

The American Public Works Association (APWA) created uniform color-coded markings for underground utilities. Color charts are usually available when you call 811.

APWA Color Codes: Power Lines, Oil, or Steam Lines, Cables, or Conduit Water Water, Irrigation, and Slurry Lines and Drain Lines Survey Markings Excavation


Tolerance Zone

The tolerance zone is a distance on each side of a utility that allows for a margin of error if the locator marks are slightly off. It also provides a buffer zone to prevent damage from digging. Do not use power-digging equipment within this zone. It will put you at risk of hitting the utilities.

If You Hit A Utility Line

Even a small cut in a line can result in a fire or health hazard. Call 911 immediately. Move equipment away from the line and keep others away.


Tours and Presentations

We provide a range of educational materials and opportunities for students and educators to learn more about Santee Cooper, electricity, electric safety and more.

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Santee Cooper provides effective, engaging, curriculum-based publications to teachers throughout the state free of charge. Check out our complete listing of publications that are available.

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Energy Educators Institute

Each July Santee Cooper sponsors the Energy Educators Institute, a graduate level course for certified South Carolina K-12 teachers and administrators accredited through Charleston Southern University.

Participants explore the scientific concepts of energy, its sources, and use and impact on the environment, economy and society. A real-world understanding of the power and purpose of electricity is learned through presentations by energy experts, discussions, field experiences and hands-on activities. Teachers complete the institute armed with materials relevant to the curriculum and correlated to state standards.

This three-week, interactive and interdisciplinary course requires a four-day residential stay at Santee Cooper's Wampee Conference Center on Lake Moultrie in Pinopolis. Although a tranquil setting, it proves to be the perfect place to build professional relationships and participate in a diverse learning experience. During the first and third week of the institute, participants will interact and complete assignments online. The second week of the course is spent onsite at Santee Cooper's Wampee Conference Center.

To apply for the 2019 Energy Educators Institute, please click here

Lineworkers Rodeo

2018 Rodeo

Each year, Santee Cooper and the state's electric cooperatives hold the Lineworkers Rodeo to showcase line technicians' skills and promote camaraderie among participants. Learn more about this year's rodeo, which was held March 16-17 at Horry Georgetown Technical College. 

Learn More

The Lineworkers' Rodeo began at Santee Cooper in 1998.The Santee Cooper Lineworkers' Rodeo was initially organized to determine the lineworkers who would represent Santee Cooper at the International Lineman's Rodeo & Expo in Kansas City. 

In 2002, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina were invited to join Santee Cooper in the friendly competition. Over time, the rodeo has become an event that attracts lineworkers, their families and their friends from across the state.

The Lineworkers' Rodeo is designed to showcase a lineworker's skills and know-how in a fun and safe environment. It's also intended to build camaraderie among the lineworkers and strengthen their knowledge and ability in the areas of safety, teamwork and productivity.

The rodeo is open to anyone who is or was a qualified practicing lineworker employed by Santee Cooper or an electric cooperative of South Carolina.

The rodeo has two levels of competition: journeyman and apprentice. In order to compete as an apprentice, the lineworker must have less than four years of line experience.

Journeyman teams consist of three members: two climbers and one ground person. The Journeyman teams must declare their members' positions before the start of competition, and members must remain in their assigned positions for the entire rodeo. An alternate may fill a position in the event of injury.

Vendors from all over the U.S. have helped with the rodeo's success by sponsoring the individual events and providing the materials and awards for their events. Family activities also make the rodeo fun and exciting for all ages.

For any questions concerning the Santee Cooper Lineworkers' Rodeo, email us at