Staying safe around power lines

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.

Powerful reminders… GRDA linemen work to make repairs to a downed power line. This week’s electrical safety tips, shared in recognition of National Electric Safety Month, can help keep you safe if you spot a downed power line.

May is National Electric Safety Month and the Grand River Dam Authority is proud to recognize that by passing along more safety tips to you. This week, those tips from the Electric Safety Foundation International (from are focused on safety around power lines. You do not have to touch a power line to be in danger. High-voltage electricity can jump to anyone who gets too close. It is recommended to stay at least 10 feet away from power lines and their connections.

If you will be working around your yard, or on the outside of your home, please remember the following safety tips.

  • Look up before raising a ladder or pole to make sure that it will not come within 10 feet of any power lines.
  • Use wooden or fiberglass ladders outdoors. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
  • Contact your utility company immediately to report downed power lines outside your home.
  • Always assume fallen power lines are energized. Stay at least ten feet away from a downed power line and any nearby objects it may be touching, such as a fence or a tree limb.
  • Never touch a person who is in contact with a downed power line. Call 911 immediately.
  • Downed power lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or even death. Electricity wants to move from a high voltage zone to a low voltage zone – and it could do that through your body.

Remember, staying away from power lines are critical to your safety. We do hope you will keep this tips in mind, and for more electric safety tips, keep an eye on this column space; we will be sharing more throughout the remainder of National Electric Safety Month. Also, be sure to visit for additional electric safety information.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.