Before starting any construction activity, always check for power lines. If power lines are located near your work area, be aware of them throughout the completion of the project. Should your work require that you come within 10 feet of those power lines, contact CenterPoint Energy at least 48 hours before beginning work.
Do not begin the project until all parties responsible for the work and the utilities have negotiated and taken proper safety precautions to de-energize power and other utility lines. If you find damaged CenterPoint Energy equipment, report it immediately. Do not proceed with any work until our service personnel arrive to determine what is necessary to ensure job site safety.
CenterPoint Energy high-voltage power lines are bare conductors with no protective coverings. The insulation is the air gap between you and the power lines. The distribution lines in our service area range from 7,200 to 34,500 volts. Although they may look harmless, consider all lines energized. Don’t let size fool you either. The diameter of a wire has no bearing on its voltage level.
Never allow materials, tools or your body to come in contact with power lines. Should you lose control of a ladder, pipe, or any object that is falling toward a power line, let it go and jump clear of the object. If the object comes in contact with power lines, don’t touch it. Call CenterPoint Energy to remove it from the lines. Stay back and keep the public and workers away until the condition is under control.
Low-voltage lines ranging from 120 to 480 volts are also found throughout the service area. In most cases, these lines have protective covering, but it only protects the wires, not anyone or anything touching the lines themselves. Approach-distances must be maintained. Avoid contact with power lines of 300 volts or less. Regarding power lines over 300 volts, but not over 750 volts, approach should be no closer than 1 foot.
Since wood can be an electric conductor under the right conditions, avoid contact with tree limbs that are touching power lines. Moist or wet wood can conduct electricity. Remember that an electrical current always follows the path of least resistance: be careful.