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Skip Navigation LinksPUC > About CPUC > Divisions > Safety and Enforcement Division > Electric Safety and Reliability Branch > Important Safety Tips

Important Safety Tips

Most of the injuries and fatalities that are reported to ESRB involve contact with and underground or overhead power lines.  It is extremely important to understand that contacting a power line, or coming close to a one, could lead to fatal injury.  There are certain steps a person can take to prevent such injuries or fatalities. 

 

If you notice a downed conductor or any type of a “wire”, you should do the following:

 

·       Always assume the conductor is energized

·       Stay away from the conductor

·       Do not attempt to drive over it or step over it

·       Do not attempt to remove it or push it with any tool

·       Call 911 or the local fire department and report the downed conductor

·       Alert anyone from the public around the area to stay clear from the conductor

 

Any person is in danger of electrocution when working in or near trees that are close to power lines because trees and tools can conduct electricity. Trees near power lines can also cause power interruptions that disrupt business and home life, and compromise critical community services. By working with your local utility you can help reduce safety hazards for you and the public. If you notice a power line that is very close or in contact with any part of the tree, call the electric utility and report the tree-line contact. The utility is responsible to ensure that power lines clear any vegetation by at least 18 inches. Do not attempt to clear the tree-line contact yourself.

If you are planning to do any excavation or digging, including you back yard or front yard call Underground Service Alert (USA) by dialing 811 two day before the excavation. USA will inform all the utilities in your area of the excavation, and utilities representatives will mark all of underground facilities in that area in order to avoid hitting underground facilities. Hitting an underground power line while digging could result in fatal injuries to people performing excavation.

An overloaded pole increases the likelihood that a pole may fail and endanger the general public. The Commission takes all safety matters seriously and has long standing rules and new rules to address the issues associated with pole loading. An overloaded pole is a pole with excessive load installed on it, a pole that has lost strength, or a combination of the prior two. The Commission GO 95 requires wood poles that support both electric and communication equipment to be replaced or re-enforced before they become overloaded. If you notice a pole that is leaning, or with many facilities on it, call the local utility or the Commission to report it.

 

Utility Safety Websites

To find out more safety information please visit the websites below:

  

Last Modified: 10/23/2012


 
 
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