Outdoor Safety

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

Stay Safe

When you’re doing yardwork or DIY projects remember:

  1. Electricity can jump: Pay attention to where lines are and what you’re doing that might provide a path for electricity to travel through you to the ground.

  2. Call 811 before you dig: If you don’t call and you hit an underground line, you could be injured or killed. You may be held liable for damages.

  3. Trimming trees, especially near power lines, can be dangerous work: Call the PGE Tree Hotline at 503-736-5460 for advice or assistance before working on trees near power lines.

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.

Call 811 before you dig

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

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.

Water & electricity don’t mix

Keep electrical equipment away from pools, fountains and standing water.

Tree maintenance

Home, green home

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.

child using flashlight in storm safety .

Storm Safety

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

  • If you see a downed or sagging line, stay at least 50 feet 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.

Outdoor lighting

See options for installing streetlights and outdoor area lighting.