The great outdoors and safety around electricity – above and below

Posted | May 14, 2019

The temperature is up, and there’s more daylight. That means you’re probably spending more time outdoors. So, it’s a good time for a reminder about staying safe around electricity outside the home.

The most obvious safety concern – and one that cannot be stressed often enough – is always being aware of overhead power lines. Follow these simple rules and you’ll reduce the risk of a serious accident or injury.

  • If you are carrying a ladder or any other long-handled item – such as a pool-cleaning tool – always carry it parallel to the ground. Look up before you raise it to make sure you’re clear of any overhead power lines.
  • Never place a ladder where it could fall into a power line.
  • Keep yard equipment and people 10–15 feet from power lines.
  • Do not trim trees near power lines. And if you have underground power lines, there are a few rules to remember as well.
  • Shrubs and structures should be at least 12 feet from the door of the pad-mount transformer (the green box) and at least three feet from either side so utility crews can access it if needed.
  • Avoid planting anything near underground utilities. Roots can grow and interfere with cables, pipes and wires, leading to repairs that could cause damage to the health and beauty of other nearby plants and trees.
  • Contact 811 a few days before doing any digging. Local utilities, including us, will mark their underground wires or pipelines free of charge.

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