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Power Lines

Overhead danger: high voltage.

Overhead power lines have no insulation and can carry more than 500,000 volts. If you touch one of these wires with your body or an object you are holding (such as a paint roller or ladder) while you are grounded, you will provide an instant path for electricity and will be hurt or even killed.

  • Assume all lines are energized.
  • Some overhead power lines appear insulated but only have weather protection. These are not safe to touch.
  • Underground lines can shock, too.
  • Although underground lines are insulated, a shovel or other digging tool can damage them and cause a shock hazard. Substations and transformers also contain live parts that can be dangerous.
  • Power lines and electrical equipment do their job safely, as long as you keep your distance.


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