Skip Navigation

Outdoor Safety

Keep an eye out for power lines. Our beautiful weather allows us to play and work outside almost all year round - gardening, flying kites, picnicking and fixing up around the house. Duke Energy offers a few safety tips to help you better enjoy these activities.

Electricity is always trying to go somewhere. It goes easily through materials like metal, water, trees, the ground and things with water in them, like animals and PEOPLE. It does not go easily through rubber, plastic, glass, dry wood or wax.

  • Never move any large object without first looking up. Many things around you can be dangerous if they touch electric wires. Metal extension ladders present particular hazards because of their widespread use and because they are natural conductors of electricity. Always read and heed ladder-use safety labels.    
  • Fly kites, model planes and balloons safely. Only fly your kite, model plane or balloons in wide-open spaces like a field or beach. Never fly them around power lines. Never use metal, foil or wire in your kite or kite string.
  • Distribution wires are "live" – full of electrical power that can hurt you. Never shoot or throw anything at wires, insulators or pole transformers.
  • Guy wires keep poles standing. Don't climb or hang anything on guy wires.
  • Never cut down trees toward power lines or climb trees near power lines. Tree limbs conduct electricity. When entangled, trees and wires are dangerous.    
  • Never climb utility poles, towers or substation fences. If you have lost something over a substation fence, Contact Us to retrieve it for you.
  • Substations are not playgrounds. Substations are places in your neighborhood where high voltage electricity is reduced to be sent to homes. These substations are protected by fences or walls. Don't climb over or crawl under fences or gates. If a ball or toy goes over a fence and into a substation, call Duke Energy. We will come and get it out.
  • Look for power lines before climbing trees. Check first before you climb a tree to make sure there are no power lines there. If the tree has wires going through it, choose another tree. Even if wires aren't touching the tree, they could touch after your weight is added to the branch.
  • Stay away from lightning. When there is lightning outdoors, get inside a building or car if possible. Keep away from windows and open doors.
  • Obey warning signs. "DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE" signs and other warning signs are posted in some places. But remember, all electrical equipment can be dangerous.
  • Electricity and water don't mix. Keep electrical appliances and toys away from water, including rain, wet ground, swimming pools, sprinklers and hoses.
  • Don't touch fallen wires. Don't touch or go near fallen wires, even if there are no sparks. Don't touch anything (cars, fences, people, etc.) that the wire touches. If you're in a vehicle on which a power line has fallen, wait inside for help and warn others to stay away. If you must get out, jump clear without touching the ground and the vehicle at the same time.
  • Meters and other electrical equipment may be located on the outside of a home or building. The meter measures the amount of electricity used. Never tamper with this or any electrical equipment. It is illegal to tamper with the meter.
  • Insulators and transformers are found on many poles. Insulators keep the electricity from leaving power lines. Transformers help reduce the power of electricity before it enters your home. Never shoot or throw anything at this equipment.

TRUSTe online privacy certification
Report an Environmental Concern | Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Mobile Site

© Copyright 2015 Duke Energy. All Rights reserved.