SMECO newsletter

volume 65 - issue 7 - july 2015

Stay safe around overhead power lines

Electricity always tries to find the easiest path to ground. The best way to stay safe around overhead power lines is to never become that easiest path.

Some common things to avoid:

Flying a kite into a power line. If the kite hits the power line, the kite string to you becomes the easiest path to the ground.

Hitting an overhead line with a sailboat mast. If the mast hits the line, the sailboat and anything touching the sailboat can become the easiest path to the ground.

Using equipment close to a power line. If you are using farm equipment or other machinery, and any part of it comes in contact with an overhead line, the equipment and you will become the easiest path.

Cutting down a tree that is in contact with a line. If a tree is in contact with an overhead power line and you attempt to remove the tree, you can become the easiest path to the ground.

Overhead power lines carry high voltages and maintain only a coating of insulation to protect them from weathering. If your body or anything you are touching comes in contact with the power line, the results could be fatal. Electricity will course through your equipment and you, and that current can heat up and burn the tissue inside the body. If you become the easiest path to ground, the results could be deadly.