Outdoor Safety

Children playing with kite.

Stay safe by being aware of electricity around you. This includes overhead power lines, poles, the big green metal boxes we call transformers, substations and even unseen underground lines.

Downed Power Lines

Always stay away from downed lines. Never touch anyone or anything that is being shocked or touching the line. Get help by calling us at 1-800-216-5226 or call 911 (Only call 911 if a power line is down, do not call just to report an outage.)

If a downed line is touching a vehicle you are in, warn others to stay away and wait for help. Do not touch the metal parts of the vehicle. If you must get out, jump clear with your feet together – never touch the ground and the vehicle at the same time.

Overhead Lines

Never touch power lines and do not allow anyone to shoot at poles or lines. Damaged equipment could allow the pole to become energized and cause injury. Check for overhead lines when working outside with ladders, antennas, irrigation pipe and long-handled items. Never work within 10 feet of a power line. Do not climb trees near power lines and never climb a utility pole or tower for any reason.

Do not attach signs and other items to utility poles. This is dangerous for our crews who work on the poles and it's against the law.


Use only 100 percent cotton string – never wire or tinsel in your kite or string. Fly kites in open areas free of power lines. When kites touch power lines, electricity may travel down the string right to you. If your kite gets caught in a power line, drop the string and leave it there. Call us for help. Also, do not release helium balloons under power lines as they can cause equipment to malfunction.

Climbing Trees

Do not climb trees with trunks or branches near power lines. If the lines make contact with the tree, electricity can travel from the line to the tree into your body. Also it can be easy for a tree climber to make contact with a power line near the tree.

Underground Utilities

Power lines can run underground. Washington state law requires anyone digging deeper than 12 inches to Call Before You Dig by dialing 811 for free locates at least two business days before digging.

Those big green metal boxes are actually electrical equipment that distributes underground power to homes and businesses. Keep an eight-foot clearance in front of the unit and three feet on the other sides. Children should never play near transformers. If you find unlocked or damaged equipment, please call us immediately.

Click here to download our Powerline Safety Brochure.