Exercise caution when working, playing around electric equipment
With spring in full swing and people spending more time outdoors, National Grid reminds customers to exercise caution when working and playing around electric facilities, including poles, wires, ground-level transformers or other equipment. For more information, National Grid’s “Stay Clear and Stay Alive” outdoor safety guide can be found here. In addition, the company offers the following tips for working and playing safely outside:
Power Line Safety
- Overhead power lines carry high voltages, so it’s safest to assume that all overhead wires
are electric wires.
- The coating on overhead wires is intended to protect the wire from weather, but it will not
protect against from electric shock.
- Never touch downed power lines. Always assume that they are carrying live electricity.
Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or to
your local emergency response organization.
- Before erecting a ladder, always look up to make sure that it will not come in contact with,
or come close to a power line.
- When working on a ladder, keep a distance of at least 10 feet from power lines, even from
those that are connected to your home.
- Never touch power lines with a ladder, nor with tools or any part of your body.
- Never place a ladder in a puddle or damp ground. Metal parts and moisture conduct
electricity, and ladders or tools that make contact with a power line provides a path for
electric current to the ground. This can be dangerous for those who come into contact with
an object that is touching a power line, as they can become part of that path and sustain
injury or death.
- Never use power tools or any electric device while standing on a damp floor or wet ground.
If the power tool is damaged by contact with water, you could receive a fatal shock.
- Always carry ladders horizontally, and keep them away from power lines.
- Make sure that equipment is properly grounded before using power equipment and tools.
- For added safety, install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters on all outdoor electric outlets.
They are designed to prevent shock.
- Indoor extension cords are not safe for outdoor use. Before plugging in any extension cord,
check to see if the insulation is cracked or frayed. If there is damage, use a new cord.
- Before installing a new antenna, satellite dish or any rooftop appliance, be certain it is clear
of all power lines. The antenna must be firmly secured to the roof and may require bracing
with guy wires to withstand high winds. A metal antenna can form a deadly conduit for
electric current if it makes contact with a power line.
Cautions for Outdoor Recreation
- Kites, model airplanes and other toys should be flown in open areas, far away from trees
and power lines.
- If a toy becomes tangled in a tree or power line, do not try to retrieve it. The safest thing to
do is leave it there.
- Don’t fly toys on damp or rainy days, as wet string can conduct electricity. Don’t use metal
string or a kite that has metal in its construction. If it touches a power line, the individual
flying the kite could sustain serious injury.
- When sailing and fishing, be alert near shorelines, inlets and marinas for overhead lines
that could come in contact with masts or antennae. Before casting a fishing line, check for
nearby electric lines.