Electrical safety

For your safety, power lines are high up in the air and buried beneath the ground, away from you. 

There are safety precautions you can take to prevent serious or fatal injuries from electrical accidents.

Please review this information with your family or workforce. 

Follow these tips to stay safe at home

Look up

  • Always be aware of the location of overhead power lines. Be careful not to lift or move any long or tall items such as gutters, ladders or irrigation pipes near power lines – they can conduct electricity through you. Stay at least 20 feet away at all times. 
  • Be sure to check for power lines in or near trees before pruning branches. If a power line is near, call us at 1-888-221-7070. 
  • Fly kites out of the way of power lines. 

Call before you dig

  • Call 811 at least 48 hours before you dig to have underground lines located. Remember to call before you plant a tree, dig holes for fence posts or install underground sprinklers. 

Stay away from downed power lines

  • Never touch or go near a fallen power line, and do not touch anything on which the wire is resting. Always assume a downed line is energized. Call 911 for help, or call us at 1-877-508-5088.

 

Inside your home

  • Keep appliances away from water and always make sure your hands are dry when using them.
  • Make sure outlets near water sources have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to shut off power in time to prevent serious injury. GFCIs should be used in bathrooms, garages, near kitchen sinks and outdoors. If your outlet has red and black "test" and "reset" buttons, it has a GFCI.
  • Repair or replace an appliance if the cord is frayed.
  • Childproof outlets.
  • Never exceed the extension cords' load rating.
  • Use three-pronged plugs only in three-pronged outlets. Never remove a prong from three-pronged plugs.

Safety for children

  • Never climb power poles, transmission towers or substation fences. If a tree is near a power line, do not build forts or climb in it.
  • Fly kites far away from power lines – if a kite does get caught in a power line, release the string at once.
  • Never enter a substation to retrieve toys. The equipment is dangerous.
  • Don’t play on or dig near pad-mounted transformers (big, green metal boxes found in neighborhoods and parks).
  • Seek shelter indoors during thunderstorms. 

Fun activities for kids

Learn about electrical safety and more with Louie the Lightning Bug®.

More safety resources

Wildfire safety

Understand safety precautions that you can take to help reduce the risk of wildfire damage.

Farm and ranch

Avoid equipment accidents, and learn how to work safely around power lines and irrigation systems.

Contractors

Be sure to maintain a 20-foot circle of safety and carefully manage heavy equipment near power lines. 

First responders

Increase your awareness of electrical hazards to watch out for at an emergency scene.

Order free safety materials

Download or order a variety of free brochures about electrical safety and other topics in English and Spanish. 

Resource center

Safety near dams and waterways

Reservoirs, dams, rivers and streams are available for swimming, fishing and boating. If you plan to visit a recreational area, such as those offered by our company, please use caution around dams and waterways. Follow posted notices and watch over children. 

Electric and magnetic fields

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are found wherever there is electric power. Learn more about the effects of 60-hertz (power frequency) EMF and practical tips you can use to reduce your exposure at home and at work.

Understanding EMF