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Safety Center

Outdoor Electrical Safety - Overview

Electricity has become an integral part of our life. Whether at home, work or school, we rely on electricity to provide us with comfort and convenience throughout the day and night. Delmarva Power is committed to providing our customers safe, reliable power and to promoting awareness of the importance of acting responsibly and safely around electricity.

That's why Delmarva Power offers these safety tips:

  • Never touch a power line. Touching a power line with any part of your body or any object such as ladders, tree trimmers, poles, ropes or kites can result in serious injury or death. Remember that electricity can move through conductive materials, i.e., water, metal, wood, aluminum, string and plastics. If you see a wire down, keep yourself and others away and contact Delmarva Power immediately at one of the following numbers:

    New Castle County (Delaware); Cecil & Harford Counties (Maryland)
    1-800-898-8042

    Kent & Sussex Counties (Delaware); Eastern Shores of Maryland
    1-800-898-8045

  • Don’t work or play near power lines. When carrying long or tall items, such as ladders, scaffolding, tree saws and pool cleaning equipment, hold them parallel to the ground to avoid contact with power and other overhead wires. Before you raise them into the air, make sure they’re clear of any power lines.
  • Always wear shoes when using outdoor electrical equipment.
  • Maintain proper clearances. For your protection, certain critical clearances are required by law, and minimum of 10 feet must be maintained when working below or adjacent to power lines.
  • Teach children to be safe. Children should stay away from electric facilities such as substations, transmission towers, transformers and power lines.
  • Call before you dig. If you are planning to dig in your yard for any reason, call Miss Utility at 811 so that underground utility services can be identified to prevent damage and potential injury to you and others.
  • Call before you work on the outside of your home. In many states, the law requires you to call the owner of overhead power lines before working near them. In many locations, Delmarva Power is the owner. Call 1-800-375-7117 if you plan to work on your home (for example, remodeling, painting or cleaning the gutters) and overhead power lines are attached to your house.
  • Protect outside outlets. Make sure that your outside outlets have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to protect you from potential shock.
  • Practice safe boating and water recreation, For boaters, ensure you have a least 10 feet of clearance between the highest point of your boat and any power lines when hauling, storing, or sailing your boat. Pay particular attention when raising or lowering your mast or spar.
  • Practice generator safety. Make sure you take proper precautions when using a generator or installing outdoor holiday lighting.