Home Electrical Safety: Power Lines


Are you a homeowner? If so, it’s very important for you to become educated about home electrical safety. Not only inside your home but outside as well, especially before you decide to take on a DIY project. Before you start any home project, it’s very important that you find out where all of the power lines surrounding your home are located. You also need to be aware of how high they are hanging.

What types of home projects are we talking about? We’re referring to tree trimming projects, projects where you have to work on the roof, or projects where you’re siding or painting the outside of your home. Whenever you’re working outside your home or in the yard, you want to know exactly where the power lines are located.

Always Look Up Before You Start

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) warns people to always look up, always before they begin a home project outside. Beyond that warning, this is the ESFI’s advice to homeowners:

  • Before you start an outdoor project, locate all of the overhead power lines surrounding your home.
  • When you’re working near an overhead power line, keep a distance of at least 10 feet from all power lines.
  • If anything, including a tree, comes into contact with a power line, do NOT touch the thing that is in contact with the power line.
  • Do not carry ladders upright where they can come into contact with a power line. Instead, carry them horizontally.
  • If you run across a downed power line, stay at least 35 feet away and call 911 immediately!

“Aren’t power lines safe as long as I don’t touch them?” No! You don’t have to come into direct contact with a power line to be in danger. A lot of people don’t know it, but high-voltage electricity can actually jump to you if you get too close. Always stay at least 10 feet away from any power line and its connections.

Next: Hazards Outside the Home

For more power line safety tips from the ESFI, click here. If you need a residential or commercial electrical contractor, contact Lightning Bug Electric for a service request.

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