Outdoor Safety

Learn how to be safe around electricity when working or playing outdoors.

Safety basics

Electricity is always seeking a path to the ground through water, trees, metal, wood, concrete, as well as people and animals. These things don’t have to touch a wire to electrocute you, so always keep yourself and your equipment at least 20 feet away from power lines. It’s not only safe, it’s also the law.

Storm Safety

Call PGE immediately at  503-464-7777in Portland, or  800-544-1795 to report any downed utility line. Here are some safety tips:

  • If you see a downed or sagging line, stay far away!

  • A downed line doesn’t have to spark to be dangerous.

  • Don’t touch anything near a downed power line.

  • If a person or animal is in contact with electricity, stay back.

  • If a line falls on your car, stay in your vehicle until the line is de-energized.

  • Never use gasoline, propane or charcoal burning devices inside your home.

Choose your cords wisely

Only use heavy-duty, grounded, three-pronged extension cords rated for outdoor use. Periodically examine extension cords for breaks or damaged insulation. Discard and replace if defective.

Never alter or make temporary repairs to a cord.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, or GFCIs, are a good investment for all outdoor outlets to help protect you from serious injury.

Call 811 before you dig

If you’re doing yard work, make  sure you call 811 to keep safe.

Tree maintenance

Get tips on how to maintain your trees and shrubbery safely around power lines.

Planting trees near transformers

Did you know that planting trees and shrubs near transformers is very dangerous? Always leave at least 20 feet between transformers and your landscaping.

Outdoor lighting

See options for installing streetlights and outdoor area lighting.