If you see a downed or damaged power line, keep your distance and call 911.
Our power lines bring electricity to the communities we serve and into your home or business. While we rely on electricity, we sometimes underestimate its force. The safety of our customers is important to us. Knowing a few basic rules can keep you safe around electricity.
Power line safety
- Never climb power poles, transmission towers or trees near power lines. These structures can deliver a deadly shock.
- Keep ladders, antennas, kites and poles away from power lines. If you’re holding any of these items and they come in contact with a power line, you could receive an electrical shock.
- Never climb trees near power lines.
- Never attempt to trim vegetation near power lines. Only certified line-clearance professionals are approved to work within 10 feet of energized power lines. All other professionals, arborists, tree trimmers and homeowners must not work within this zone.
- Call us at 800-890-5554 to report a downed power line.
Stay away from downed or damaged power lines
- Contact your local utility immediately if you see electrical utility equipment in your neighborhood that is damaged or unlocked.
- If you see a power line that is down or damaged, keep your distance.
- Assume any downed power line is energized. Never touch or attempt to pick up a fallen line. And never drive over a downed line or under a low-hanging line. If you need help, call 911 immediately.
- Do not try to rescue someone in contact with a power line. Attempting to rescue that person could cause you injury.
- Never drive over a downed line or under a low-hanging line. Beware of downed lines touching a vehicle. Stay away from the vehicle and the line. If a line falls on your car when you’re in it, stay inside and wait for help. Call off anyone trying to approach the car.
- Stay clear of the line until you have been cleared back to the area by police and the fire department.
If an unexpected outage occurs, follow these tips to stay safe:
- Assume any downed power line is energized. Never touch or attempt to pick up a fallen line. Do not try to rescue someone in contact with a power line.
- Unplug sensitive computer and electronic equipment or protect them with a high-quality surge protector.
- Leave a lamp or electric radio on so you know when service is restored.
- Turn on a porch light when power is restored. This will help speed-up our power restoration process, because we’ll be able to quickly confirm your power is back on without knocking on your door or checking the meter.
- Do not open your refrigerator or freezer more than necessary. Undisturbed food will remain frozen in most freezers for 12 to 48 hours.
- Do not use charcoal grills to heat your home or cook indoors. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause injury or death. Learning how to detect carbon monoxide can keep you safe, and even save your life.
- If you use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer's safety and operating guidelines. Be sure to operate the generator in a well-ventilated area. Never operate it indoors or in your garage. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause injury or death.
- Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless, have a carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries installed to warn you of potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Service mast maintenance
Severe weather can damage your home’s service mast. A mast is on the outside of your roof or at your meter and looks like a metal tube or pipe. It feeds electricity to your home from the overhead power lines.
As the homeowner, you’re responsible for maintaining and repairing your home’s service mast.
Follow these steps to repair your service mast:
- Look at the mast on the outside of your home, but don’t touch it because it’s energized.
- Contact a certified electrician to schedule a repair, if the mast appears loose, bent or damaged.
- The electrician will call us to come out and turn off service to your home.
- The electrician will repair the meter can or service mast.
- The electrician will call an inspector to inspect the repair.
- The Inspector or electrician will call us to restore service to your home.