Staying Safe with Electricity

Electricity makes everyday life more comfortable and convenient, but under certain conditions, a shock from 110-volts could be fatal. Stay safe with these tips:

  • Allow only qualified individuals to repair, maintain or operate electrical equipment.
  • Stay away from water when using electrical equipment.
  • Do not touch electric appliances with wet hands or a metal object.
  • Keep electrical cords away from heat sources, pedestrian traffic, and do not place them under rugs or mats where damage can go unnoticed.
  • Replace, don’t repair, worn or frayed electrical cords.
  • Unplug appliances before washing, making repairs, or when not in use.
  • If an appliance emits smoke or sparks, or if you feel a tingle or light shock when it’s on, stop using it.  Discard, repair or replace the device.
  • Grasp the plug to disconnect an appliance from the socket. Do not pull the cord.
  • Do not overload outlets with too many appliances or lamps.
  • Use outlet safety covers if you have young children.
  • Keep electric heaters a safe distance from furniture, blankets, draperies and other objects that could catch fire. Never hang clothes to dry on or near your heater.
  • Stay away from overhead electricity lines.
  • Locate underground electric lines before digging. If in doubt, call dig alert at 811.
  • If you see downed electric lines or other electric emergencies, call us at 1-800-411-SDGE (7343).
  • Overhead Electric Line Safety

    Electricity always seeks a path to the ground. If you touch an uninsulated line with an object or your body, you become this path. This can result in severe injury or death.

    When working around overhead electric lines:

    • Watch where you are going.
    • Do not touch the lines.
    • Keep all machinery, equipment, materials, scaffolding, tools, boat masts, fruit-picking poles, antennas, satellite dishes, pool skimmer handles, metal ladders and people at least 10 feet away.
    • Call us at 1-800-411-7343 if it appears lines are in your way and depending on the nature of the job, we may be able to turn off electricity, cover the lines, or even move them while you complete your work.
    • Never remove anything caught in electric lines — not even an animal. Call SDG&E immediately at 1-800-411-7343.

    Kites, balloons and electric wires:

    • Never fly kites and metallic or mylar balloons near electric lines.
    • If your kite gets caught in an electric line, do not try to remove it. Call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343.
    • Do not cross a road or street while flying a kite.
    • Never fly kites in the rain or during an electric storm.
    • Make sure that kite string, wood, paper or other kite materials are completely dry.
    • Never use a kite made with wire or metallic materials, including mylar.
  • Underground Electric Line Safety

    Hazards you don’t see, like underground electric lines, are easy to ignore or forget. Yet the danger is just as great. Digging, drilling or blasting can damage these underground lines and cause electrocution or fire.

    To avoid an accident, call our Underground Alert Service at 1-800-227-2600. We’ll send someone to your site to show you exactly where our lines are buried. 

  • Safety with Fallen Electric Lines

    Fallen electric lines are extremely dangerous. Report any downed lines immediately to 1-800-411-SDGE (7343). Always assume a downed line is live. Never touch a fallen line or a person or vehicle in contact with the line.

    If an electric line touches your vehicle while you are inside:

    • Remain calm.
    • Stay inside your vehicle until emergency help arrives.
    • Warn others to stay away from the vehicle and direct them to call SDG&E.
    • If you must leave the vehicle for safety reasons, jump clear. Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • Safety with Underground Lines

    Digging, drilling or blasting can damage underground electric lines and cause electrocution or fire. To avoid accidents, call Dig Alert at 811. We’ll send someone to your site to show you exactly where our lines are buried.

  • Portable Generator Safety

    During a power outage, DO NOT connect a portable generator to the SDG&E system, or to a system that has been connected to an SDG&E line. The power from your generator could feed into the lines where repair people are working and cause serious injury or death. Plug appliances or equipment into the generator only. If you want to use a portable generator, please call us first at 1-800-336-7343.