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Electrical Power Line Safety

Info for: ResidentialCommercialEducationCommunityContractorsEconomic Development

If you see downed power lines, call HG&E Emergency Dispatch immediately at (413) 536-9300. 

When working outdoors, please be aware of the dangers of working near overhead power lines.  Although these lines may be coated to protect them from the weather, they are not insulated and that coating will not protect you from an electric shock.  If you contact an electric power line with your body, or even indirectly through a ladder or tool, you may be seriously injured or killed.  Here are a few tips to help you stay safe when working around power lines:

  • Assume that all power lines are energized.
  • Keep ladders at least 10 feet away from power lines when carrying, moving and raising them.
  • Keep away from wires when working with tools, pipe, or siding – all of which can conduct electricity.
  • Make sure the area is clear of wires before working near trees or shrubs.
  • If you are planning on excavating, make sure that you call Dig Safe® to ensure that you will not hit any underground utilities – it is required by state law.  This service is provided at no cost to you.

Never touch any fallen wire, and never use an object such as a board or limb in an attempt to move a downed line.  Even wooden objects can conduct electricity if only slightly wet, causing the risk of electric shock or electrocution.  Even if you don’t see sparks, consider every wire on the ground to be energized and dangerous.

Never touch a person who is in contact with power lines or other objects that are touching power lines, as by doing so you may become electrocuted yourself.  Instead, dial 911 or summon appropriate emergency personnel immediately.  If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with a downed line, stay in the vehicle until help arrives.

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