Electric Safety Tips
Be Safe. Be Smart.
Review our Electric Safety Tips with Your Family
Look Up and Live: Overhead Power Line Safety
- Before starting an outdoor project, survey the work area. Be aware of all utility lines above and below. When you need to dig, call 8-1-1, PA’s One Call System, at least three days in advance of digging.
- Don’t take chances when working near power lines. Always use good judgment and maintain a safe distance of at least twenty feet away. Contact UGI or the area’s utility company so an experienced professional can help you establish a safe zone.
- Keep machinery away. Maintain continuous contact with a dedicated ‘spotter’ to comply with electric line clearance requirements. If operating a crane and/or derrick near a line, do not try to guide a load and spot at the same time. Use other methods, such as marking the location of the overhead lines on the ground, and alerting all others working nearby of markings.
- Never touch power lines. Always presume lines are energized and dangerous no matter what they look like. Contacting a power line with your body, ladder, pole, rope, scaffolding, etc. can result in serious injury or death. When carrying long or tall materials, hold items parallel to the ground to avoid overhead contact.
- Never attempt to retrieve anything that is on or near a power line. Keep kites, helium filled balloons and remote control aircraft away from overhead electric lines to avoid the potential for power outages, fires and serious injuries. If a balloon or toy is caught in a power line, do not attempt to retrieve it yourself; contact UGI immediately at 800-276-2722.
- If equipment makes contact with a power line, the operator should remain inside the cab until power lines have been de-energized. However, if the equipment is on fire, the operator should jump away from equipment: Keep feet tightly together as a single contact point, and hop away. NEVER touch the ground and equipment at the same time. Call 911 and UGI to get emergency personnel on the way so power lines can be de-energized as quickly as possible. Keep away from everything near the line, since all elements may be energized.
- Assume that wires are energized and don’t touch them.
- Stay away from fallen wires and warn others to keep away.
- Call UGI at 800-276-2722 and the police immediately.
- If a wire is touching your vehicle, stay inside.
- If your car catches fire, it’s important that you leave the vehicle immediately. Because metal conducts electricity, don’t touch the car’s metal and the ground at the same time. Jump clear of the vehicle for proper exit.
Indoor Electrical Fires
- Without touching the appliance, unplug it or turn off the electrical supply.
- Use a Class C-rated fire extinguisher, if available.
- If you do not have the right fire extinguisher, throw baking soda on the fire.
- Never use water on an electrical fire. If necessary, call your fire department.
- When using a generator, always follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Improper use of portable generators can lead to electrical fires or poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
- Never use a generator indoors, in your garage or basement, or in any enclosed space. Always operate generators outside in a well-ventilated area.
- Always use proper power cords and be sure your generator is properly grounded.
- Do not overload the generator by operating more equipment than the generator’s output rating.
- Be sure to turn off light switches when you change a bulb.
- To avoid fire through overheating, use only bulbs of the appropriate wattage for the fixture.
- Dispose of old LED, CFL (compact fluorescent), and incandescent bulbs safely. Learn more about disposing of all old bulbs safety.
Outlets and Cords
- If you have children that live in or visit your home, install safety plugs and outlet covers (available at most hardware stores and home project centers).
- Never overload outlets. Too many cords plugged into one circuit creates an electrical hazard.
- Check cords often for fraying or damage and replace them if necessary.
- Use the right extension cord for the job (e.g. heavy-duty extension cords with power tools, moisture-resistant extension cords for outdoors.)
- Place all cords safely out of the way to prevent trip and fall hazards.
Trees and Power Lines
- A service interruption can occur when tree branches contact power lines. Trees must be kept a safe distance from all electrical wires.
- To ensure safe and reliable service, UGI maintains a coordinated vegetation management program that promotes proper tree selection and planting, as well as tree trimming in the vicinity of power lines. To learn more, a free brochure entitled “Trees for Streets and Lawns” is available by calling 800-276-2722.
UGI’s Safety & Security Lighting Program
For a nominal monthly charge, UGI provides an outdoor lighting service, which includes your choice of fixture, energy, installation and maintenance. Call 800-276-2722 to sign up.