Residential | FPL | Trees, Emergencies and Your Safety
 

Look up, look out: Safety around power lines


At FPL, safety is a cornerstone of our commitment to customers and employees. We urge you to stay safe and stay far away from power lines at all times.

Ladders and power lines don't mix

If you decide to work outside, look up and note the location of power lines before you begin. Careful avoidance of power lines is extremely important during yard work, especially when using tools, ladders, poles or pruning saws. Be sure that ladders or scaffolds are far enough away so that you – and the ends of the tools you’re using – don’t come within 10 feet of power lines.

You can be seriously hurt or killed if the object you are holding contacts a power line. Even nonmetallic ladders and equipment can conduct electricity. You must keep at least 10 feet away from any power line, from the end or tip of your own extended reach and including the end or tip of any object you are holding or carrying. (Please note that you must allow even greater distance for safety near higher voltage lines such as transmission lines.)

Never trim near power lines

Never attempt to trim any vegetation growing on or near power lines. Only specially trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines. Check your local listings to locate a contractor qualified to trim vegetation around power lines.

Know your utility lines

Typically, you don’t have to worry about coming into contact with power lines since they are either buried safely underground or mounted on poles a safe distance from expected activity.  However, you must always assume that all overhead wires and cables and any underground wires or cables that you may encounter are energized and potentially dangerous.

Electric lines are usually located at the top of the utility pole, farthest from the ground. Cable television and telephone lines run closer to the ground, below power lines. Please contact your local cable and phone utilities for information about trimming requirements or problems with their lines.

Call before you dig

Planning a home improvement project? Planting a tree? Installing a fence or deck? Wait! Florida law requires that you call 811 to locate and mark buried power lines and other utilities before you dig, whether you’re planning to do the work yourself or hire a professional. Call 811 or visit www.call811.com at least two business days before you begin work to avoid unintentionally hitting underground utility lines. This free service helps keep everyone safe.

Call if you see a downed power line

If you see a downed power line or other damaged electrical equipment, be sure to stay far away and immediately call 911 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).

Storm safety

When a power outage occurs, your safety is our main concern. Here are some basic tips to keep you and your family safe while the power is out:

  • Assume all cables and wires are energized and stay away.
  • Keep away from flooded and debris-laden areas because they may be hiding downed lines.
  • Avoid driving in damaged areas. You might interfere with rescue or restoration efforts, as well as jeopardize your own safety.
  • Report downed power lines by calling FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).

For tips on keeping your home safe from fire, visit the Florida Division of Forestry Web site.

Safety is no accident. Be alert so you won’t get hurt!