Power Lines are Not Covered with an Insulating Material
Most overhead power lines are made of highly conductive aluminum with a steel core, or copper—and they are NOT covered with an insulating material. If you look up at a utility pole or tower, you may not be able to identify which lines are communication cables and which are energized wires. You should assume that any wire on a utility pole or tower is energized and dangerous, and stay away. All downed wires should also be considered energized and dangerous. Stay far away from them as well and call 911 immediately.
Don’t Be Fooled by the Covering
Don’t be fooled by the covering on the service drop wires that go from utility poles to homes. This coating is designed to protect the service drop from the elements, and will not prevent injury to people. This covering will NOT protect you from electrical shock.
Distance Is Your Best Protection
Keep yourself, your tools, and all equipment at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines that are typically present in residential areas. As voltage increases, clearance distances also increase. Contact Westar Energy at 800-383-1183 to confirm the power line voltage and distance requirements.
Would You Like to Know More?
Additional overhead and digging guidelines, case studies, instructional videos, and training tools can all be found, at no charge to you, on Westar Energy’s e-SMARTworkers website.
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