Electric meters, poles, and lines keep our electric system running smoothly, but they are often overlooked and even abused. Access Energy Cooperative and Safe Electricity urge everyone to stay away from and be respectful of utility equipment in order to keep electrical systems running safely and reliably.
Don’t tamper with your electric meter for any reason. Tampering with your meter is illegal in many states, but more importantly, can cause electrocution and fire, resulting in injury and damage, even death. If you think there may be a problem with your meter, call your local electric provider —don’t try to fix it yourself.
Exercise caution with and around electrical equipment to protect yourself and others:
- Never try to prune trees that appear to be growing into power lines. Contact your electric provider. Utilities have skilled professionals trained to safely prune and trim trees for electric line clearances.
- Don’t post fliers or posters on electric poles. Damage to the poles can create a dangerous situation for those around them, and can cause outages affecting many more. Posters, nails, and staples can make it dangerous or impossible for linemen to climb the poles if needed and protruding nails are a danger for anyone who needs to remove the poles.
- When landscaping, plant tall-growing trees safely away from power lines; seek help in choosing and planting trees and bushes that won’t grow to interfere with electrical equipment.
- Do not plant near underground utility services. Tree roots can grow and interfere with underground wire, pipes and cables. Future repairs to these facilities also could damage the health and beauty of nearby plants and trees.
- Keep areas around electric meters, transformers or other electrical equipment free of any vegetation that could limit utility service access.
Before digging, call the local underground utility locator service to mark location of underground utilities so that accidental contact, damage and injuries can be avoided.