5/31/2007

Theft of electrical equipment on the rise in the U.S. SWEPCO says thieves could be placing safety and reliability at risk

SHREVEPORT, La., May 31, 2007 – The market for scrap metal is driving a drastic increase in the theft of metal - especially aluminum and copper. AEP (American Electric Power) operating companies in Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Kentucky and Texas report a rise in the theft of electrical equipment, and there were seven fatalities last year due to theft and live wire contacts, including a public fatality in December 2006 in Kilgore, Texas from copper theft. SWEPCO has recently investigated copper theft incidents in Longview, Marshall, Gilmer and Mineola, Texas.  AEP reports that some thieves are even cutting into power lines and other equipment that is energized and serving customers.  SWEPCO is asking its customers to report to law enforcement officials any suspicious activity near a utility pole, transmission tower or substation.

According to Malcolm Smoak, vice president of Distribution Region Operations for SWEPCO, this kind of activity has the potential to place public safety at risk. “A complete wiring system helps provide a safer and more reliable source of electricity,” says Smoak. “An element of protection is lost when the design of the electric delivery system is altered in an attempt to get at the metal for resale to a salvage center,” said Smoak. 

Smoak emphasizes that if a would-be thief happened to survive contact with an energized cable or device, that person could leave behind a dangerous condition for an innocent passerby.  “Connections can be loosened, or energized equipment could be exposed, jeopardizing public safety,” says Smoak. “Many times someone who contacts energized electrical equipment does not survive.”

While most thieves do their best to avoid detection, some are getting bolder, deliberately posing as utility or construction workers.  “Only trained personnel should be in close proximity to power lines or substation equipment,” said Smoak. “It takes years of experience and the need for specialized equipment to work safely in this environment.”

Smoak also noted that when people decide to cut into electrical equipment to scavenge metal, they steal from everyone in the community. Customers could experience interruptions in electric service as a result of a theft of power cables. Another consequence is the potential for damage to sensitive electronic equipment commonly used in homes and businesses such as computers, televisions, air conditioners, and other devices that have electronic equipment.

SWEPCO also reminds customers that the use of surge protection devices on sensitive electronic equipment is a good precaution even when the theft of equipment is not a consideration. Use of an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) or a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) should be used wherever possible. It’s also a good idea to make sure the grounding system in your home is in good condition. Electrical grounding ensures that if there is ever a short circuit on a piece of electrical equipment, current will flow through the ground system and trip a breaker or blow a fuse. SWEPCO recommends contacting a licensed electrician in your area if there are any concerns about the grounding system in your home.




SWEPCO is headquartered in Shreveport, and its 1,540 employees serve more than 464,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwestern Louisiana, and eastern and North Texas. 
 
SWEPCO is an operating company unit of American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states.  AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S.  AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.  AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the transmission system that covers 38 eastern states and central U.S. states (SWEPCO area is in this interconnection). AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east and north Texas).  AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.SWEPCO.com
MEDIA CONTACT:
Scott McCloud
Corporate Communications
Office: 318-673-3532

More From PSO

Learn More

Manage Your Electric Bill Year-Round

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Use Online Form Report Outages On Your Mobile Phone

Report Outages On Your Mobile Phone

How We Restore Power Learn more

How We Restore Power

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2019 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)

Scope

This Privacy Policy applies only to PSOklahoma.com and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.pso). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of PSOklahoma.com or the Public Service Company of Oklahoma customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.

Consent

By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to PSO’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to PSO (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for PSO);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

PSO uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, PSO reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.

Security

PSO takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from PSO may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

PSO reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to PSO alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Win an Xbox One with Alerts!

Enroll in alerts to be eligible to win. Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...

×