Overhead Power Lines

Stay alert and stay alive

Stay alert when working and playing outside. Always look up first to locate all overhead lines. Assume that all overhead wires are live and therefore dangerous.

Many states require you by law to stay at least 10 feet away from overhead lines. This includes any object you could be handling. Following this widely-adopted rule will help keep you safe.

  • Using tall objects near power lines can be extremely dangerous. Before moving ladders, long pipes, trimming trees, painting with long handles, installing antennas or moving sailboat masts, look up first to locate any overhead power lines. Be sure to keep these and other household items at least 10 feet away.
  • Never lift anything upright without first knowing what's above you. For example, if you're working or hunting in fields with irrigation pipes, use extreme caution when lifting pipes upright. Hunters and ranchers have been seriously injured or killed by lifting pipes upright into overhead power lines.
  • If you see a power line close to a tree that needs to be trimmed or pruned, your safest bet is to contact a tree trimming professional to do the work.
  • Watch for power lines near rivers and lakes when boating or fishing. Masts on sailboats conduct electricity and so do fishing lines. Avoid casting near power lines and never try to retrieve lures tangled with power lines.
  • Keep away from areas with HIGH VOLTAGE WARNING and DANGER signs posted.
  • Teach children how to play safe
  • Climbing in trees is fun, but not when power lines are nearby. Make your children aware of the dangers of playing on or near electrical equipment such as power poles, transformers, metal switch cabinets, fences or substations. Flying kites, model airplanes and other toys is safe as long as they're in open fields and far away from overhead power lines.