Stay Safe Around Power Lines

September 13, 2022

Coming into contact with a power line can be deadly, but you don’t have to touch one of them directly to be in danger. Thankfully, some simple precautions are all you need to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Overhead power lines carry thousands of volts of electricity and have the potential to be harmful to anyone, or anything, that gets too close. Stearns Electric wants our members to understand the dangers of electricity and stay safe around power lines.

When flying objects like kites and drones, make sure to look up and stay clear of power lines. If you’re carrying tall tools like ladders and boards, working on a roof, trimming trees, or using tall vehicles or equipment, be careful so these items don’t hit a power line. You should always stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.

Mylar balloons pose a significant threat to power lines. When a metallic balloon touches a power line, it can cause a surge of electricity that short circuits equipment and can lead to power outages, fires and injuries. Proper handling and disposal of these balloons can prevent this from happening and they should never be released into the air.

If you see a tree touching a power line, don’t climb it. And if something gets caught in a power line, don’t try to knock it down yourself. Call Stearns Electric to safely remove it. You should also never attach things to power poles, such as signs, decorations or basketball hoops.

If a power line or pole comes down for any reason, always assume the line is energized and keep all people and pets far away. When a line falls, the current can travel through the ground and nearby objects. Notify Stearns Electric and call 911 as soon as possible to report a downed line or pole.

If a person or vehicle has come in contact with a downed power line, do not touch either of them as they could also be energized. Call 911 immediately. And if you’re in a car that has encountered a power line, stay inside the vehicle. Call 911 and wait until help arrives and you can safely get you out. If you must exit your car, jump out with both feet and shuffle until you are a safe distance from your car.

Electricity is an important part of our everyday lives, but can be very dangerous when not treated with caution. The safety of our employees and members is of utmost importance. You should always keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment the cooperative uses to bring electricity to your home, including transformers, meters and electric boxes.