"Safety Our Priority" - Northeast Power employee in bucket truck using hot sticks to work on transmission line

Northeast Power wants you to be safe around electricity. You handle electricity safely everyday by switching on the lights, your television and other household appliances. If handled carelessly, electricity can be dangerous. Below, we've provided links with information on how to be safe around electricity at home, on the farm and at work. 

Power Line Safety

Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Northeast Power wants to help you stay safe around power lines.

Keep a Safe Distance

Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment used to provide electricity to your home.

Always remember to:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
  • Don’t climb trees near power lines.
  • Never fly kites, remote control airplanes, drones or balloons near power lines.
  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call the local utility to retrieve it.
  • Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas. 
  • Never touch or go near downed power lines.
  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed power line, such as a car.
  • Keep children and pets away from power lines and other electrical equipment.

Power Line Hazards and Cars

If a power line falls on your vehicle, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to be. Warn others not to touch the vehicle or the power line. Call, or ask someone to call 911 or the local utility.

The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire.

  • Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock.
  • Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground.
  • Once you clear the car, hop with both feet until you are safe distance away.

As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or call the local utility.

Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.

Electrical Safety and Generators

Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits

When the power is out, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of a portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

When using gasoline/diesel powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed electrical energy from the generator, and help protect utility line workers or other repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to, at or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility workers or others.

Effects of Backfeed

The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for utility line workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths.

Other Generator Hazards

Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well ventilated areas.


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