Power lines digging and safety
This season means barbeque, vacation and outdoor projects. But you've also got to keep safety in mind when working or playing around electric and natural gas equipment and during storms.
Five key points to stay safe near power lines
- Keep at least 10 feet away from power lines alongside local streets and neighborhoods. Transmission or high-voltage lines require an even greater clearance
- Remember that overhead wires can carry extremely high voltages. Assume that all overhead wires are live electric wires.
- Avoid touching power lines with any part of your body or with a ladder. Don't use an aluminum ladder or a damp wooden ladder within 10 feet of power lines.
- Before erecting a ladder, make sure it won't come into contact with any power lines. Always carry ladders horizontally to keep them from touching power lines.
- Kites, model airplanes and other toys should be flown only in open spaces, far from any trees and power lines. If a toy gets tangled in a power line, the safest thing to do is leave it there and call National Grid at 1-800-465-1212.
Know what's below. Dig Safe.
Did you know it's the law?
Electric power lines, natural gas pipelines, water pipes, communications lines and other utility services can be buried within feet of the surface. Soil erosion can make those lines even closer. Not knowing where lines are can result in an accident and serious personal injury, property damage and neighborhood service interruptions.
If you're planning any type of digging, call 811 at least two full working days ahead. The New England Dig Safe center will notify National Grid and other utilities to mark your underground pipes, wires or cables so you'll know what areas to avoid. This is a free service to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
For more information about the 811 program, visit their website at www.digsafe.com.
Weather can be unpredictable with sudden and severe thunderstorms. Planning ahead can help everyone stay safe before, during and after a storm.
- Learn about your local community's emergency warning system for severe storms.
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members, away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail. Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe storm.
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind-resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches.
- Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond in emergencies.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit. (Visit American Red Cross here for a free tip sheet to help you build your kit)
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are predicted. Remember that lightning can strike even outside the area of direct rain.
- After storms have passed, help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
- Never touch any fallen lines or anything touching falling wires. Report any fallen wires immediately by calling National Grid at 1-800-465-1212.
- Watch your pets and animals closely and keep them under your direct control.