AEP Sustainability - Public Safety

Safety of the public

Our commitment to safety extends beyond educating and engaging employees and contractors. Our commitment includes keeping the public safe, engaged and educated about electricity and our facilities. Regular communication with the public is key to this work, and we engage through multiple channels including social media, videos and direct mail.

We use social media to educate our customers on the importance of electrical safety. This includes our #SafetySaturday series, designed to provide the public with useful and engaging information about electricity.

We use social media to educate our customers on the importance of electrical safety and share how our employees work safely. At the center of these efforts is the #SafetySaturday series, designed to provide the public with useful and engaging information about electricity. In total, we published close to 1,600 safety messages, generating well over 5 million social media impressions.

We collaborated with the Edison Electric Institute and utilized an external utilities public safety expert to send public safety mailers to select third-party contractors operating within AEP’s territory. These contractors received electrical safety guidance, which was specifically geared toward physical workers who might work near overhead or underground wires. Additional electrical safety materials are available in multiple languages.

We also support safety education at local schools across our service territory. Through a third-party contractor, National Theatre for Children, AEP Texas helped teach children about electrical safety. Because of the pandemic, NTC changed from live performances to digital livestream and conducted 79 performances, reaching approximately 22,000 students in 52 elementary schools across the AEP Texas Service area in 2020.

Despite our education and outreach efforts, unfortunately, two public fatalities occurred in our service territory in 2020 due to electrical contact. We remain committed to educating the public about electric safety and bringing awareness to potential hazards to the public.

The Power of Our People: AEP Line Servicer Halts Dangerous Tree Trimming

AEP Line Servicer, Brandon Scott, stopped landscapers from a potentially deadly tree trim.

In 2020, Line Servicer Brandon Scott was responding to a power outage in Columbus, Ohio. Upon arriving at a customer’s property, he saw a landscaping crew in a precarious spot in the backyard. They were attempting to trim a massive silver maple tree – approximately 65 to 70 feet tall – and had already improperly made a deep cut into its trunk. A huge limb was hanging dangerously close to AEP’s power lines. In addition, the workers had failed to see the metal cable braces supporting the heavy branches.

Scott recognized the hazards, so he asked the crew to stop their work immediately while he called for support from AEP’s Forestry Department. His quick reaction and questioning attitude potentially saved lives that day. The work was stopped, the line was de-energized, and professional tree trimmers were called to the scene. They secured the branches with ropes and were able to safely remove hazardous limbs piece by piece until proper distance of clearance from our equipment was achieved. Scott’s actions demonstrate AEP’s commitment to Zero Harm.