Electrical safety

For your safety, power lines are high up in the air and buried beneath the ground, away from you. However, sometimes storms can bring lines down. Because you can't tell if a power line is energized just by looking at it, always take caution and assume that any downed power lines are live.

Follow the safety precautions below to help prevent serious or fatal injuries. 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 10 feet away from the line and anything that may be touching the line.
  • 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

  • When things fall (trees, tree branches, utility poles), power lines may have fallen too.
  • NEVER touch or go near a fallen power line.
  • Do not touch or go near anything that a wire is touching.
  • Stay at least 35 feet away.
  • Always assume a downed line is energized.
  • Call 911 and then call us at 1-888-221-7070 for help.
  • Do not drive over downed power lines.
  • If a power line falls across your car while you are inside: 
    • Stay inside the vehicle because attempting to leave could electrocute you.
    • Drive the car away from the power line if possible; if not, stay put until help arrives.
    • If you must exit the car due to fire or other life-threatening emergency:
      • Position yourself, without touching the ground, so that you can JUMP clear of the vehicle. 
      • As you jump, fold your arms in front of you so you are not touching the vehicle and jump landing with both feet on the ground at the same time. 
      • After landing on the ground, shuffle further away, keeping both feet touching the ground at all times.
      • Shuffle at least 35 feet away.

Using generators safely

  • It is essential to follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding the safe use of portable electric generators and portable power stations. Generators also require proper storage, access to fuel and regular safety checks.

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 reminders 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.


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 around 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