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IN THIS ISSUE July 4th - Celebrate Safely back to top >>
  1. July 4th Safety
  2. Watt's a Gigawatt
  3. Outlet Info
  4. Strawberry Recipe

  5. Norris Public Power District
    606 Irving Street
    Beatrice, NE 68310

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Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks. The National Safety Council (NSC) advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home. They may be legal, but they are not safe.

In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20. Over two-thirds (67%) of injuries took place from June 16 to July 16. While the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, an estimated 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.

Additionally, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.

If You Choose to Use Legal Fireworks

If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks

Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show. Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.
Provided By: National Safety Council

Electricity Explained back to top >>

Electricity is measured in watts and kilowatts

Electricity is measured in units of power called watts, named to honor James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine. A watt is the unit of electrical power equal to one ampere under the pressure of one volt.

One watt is a small amount of power. Some devices require only a few watts to operate, and other devices require larger amounts. The power consumption of small devices is usually measured in watts, and the power consumption of larger devices is measured in kilowatts (kW), or multiples of 1,000 watts.

Electricity generation capacity is often measured in multiples of kilowatts, such as megawatts (MW) and gigawatts (GW). One MW is 1,000 kW (or 1,000,000 watts), and one GW is 1,000 MW (or 1,000,000,000 watts).

Electricity use over time is measured in watt-hours

A watt-hour (Wh) is equal to the energy of one watt steadily supplied to, or taken from, an electric circuit for one hour. The amount of electricity that a power plant generates or an electric utility customer uses is typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). One kWh is one kilowatt generated or consumed for one hour. For example, if you use a 40 watt (0.04 kW) light bulb for five hours, you have used 200 Wh, or 0.2 kWh, of electrical energy.

Utility companies measure and monitor electricity use with meters

Electric utilities measure the electricity consumption of their customers with meters. In the past, all electricity meters were mechanical devices that a utility employee had to read manually. Eventually, automated reader devices became available. These meters periodically report electricity use to utilities with an electronic signal. Now, many utilities use electronic meters, which provide wireless access to the meter's power usage data, to measure electricity consumption in real-time.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

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