Safety Around Electrical Lines

Use Extra Caution Around Electrical Lines and Facilities

Pearl River Valley Electric’s highest priority is safety—for our employees as well as members and the general public. Don’t ever take safety for granted. Please follow these important rules and guidelines whenever you are working around electric facilities.

Stay away from any downed power lines. Electric distribution lines can carry loads ranging from 7,200 volts up to 12,400 volts in residential areas. Larger transmission lines can carry up to 230,000 volts or more.

Electrical Safety and Outdoor Activities

  • Don’t set ladders or scaffolds close to overhead electric lines, including the service wires connected to houses and buildings.
  • Be careful when carrying swimming pool skimmers, metal pipes or other tall poles and long boards.
  • Take care not to cut the power cord when working with electrically powered cutting tools outdoors.
  • Call before you dig to identify the location of underground wires. Digging or driving objects into underground wires could cause serious injuries or service interruptions. Maintain a distance of 2 feet from marked power lines.
  • Use extreme care around swimming pools. Don’t use electrical appliances near pools or extension cords in the vicinity of pools.
  • Be careful when working or playing around guy wires supporting utility poles. Don’t swing or climb on them; avoid running into them with yard equipment or vehicles.
  • When working around trees, make sure no electric wires run through the branches.
  • Wear sturdy rubber-soled shoes when working with electric tools outdoors.
  • Never fly a kite or model airplane near overhead wires.
  • Don’t let children climb trees near power lines.

Extension Cords

  • Extension cords are not as safe as permanent household wiring. Use them temporarily and in a safe manner.
  • Check the amperage rating for an extension cord to make sure it is greater than, or equal to, the tool or appliance you will be using.
  • Routinely inspect cords for broken or frayed insulation. Immediately repair or replace unsafe cords.
  • Do not cut off ground prongs. This eliminates the protection of grounded cords.
  • Do not use extension cords as a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Always keep slack in extension cords. A taut cord can put tension on plugs and receptacles and increase the potential for connections to pull loose.
  • Don’t run extension cords across doorways or other heavy traffic areas unless you securely tape them to the floor.
  • Don’t staple or nail extension cords to walls.
  • Don’t allow cords to come into contact with oil or other corrosive materials.
  • Before using an extension cord outside or in a wet area, confirm that the cord is rated for outdoor use and make sure the cord is connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter.

For additional safety information, click here.

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