Electrical Safety

Call 811

811 is the official nationwide phone number to call to before you dig to locate utility lines.

At many points on its way to us, electricity can be potentially dangerous.

Overhead power lines, which are located high off the ground for safety, have no insulation and can carry more than 500,000 volts. Substations and transformers contain "live" parts that are dangerous to contact. Underground power lines are well-insulated, but a shovel can damage them and create a shock hazard.

Additionally, there are many electrical or gas safety hazards in your home or in your workplace. Learn how you can stay safe and help avoid hazardous situations by following the links above.

Why Electricity Can Be Dangerous to You

Electricity follows any and all paths to the ground. It tries to find a conductor, or something that it can pass through to get to the ground, like metal, wet wood or water. Your body is about 70% water, so that makes you a good conductor, too. For example, if you touch an energized bare wire or faulty appliance while your feet are touching the ground, electricity will automatically pass through you to the ground, causing a harmful, or even fatal shock.

How much is too much?

It doesn't take much to get hurt or killed from even a small amount of electricity. The current from a 7.5 watt Christmas tree bulb can kill you in a fraction of a second if its current passes through your chest. So the best thing you can do is be aware of the dangers of electricity and learn how to avoid them.