Electrical Safety

Stay Safe at Work and Home

Electricity powers our lives, but the power lines that deliver energy to our community can be dangerous. Use the resources on these pages to keep you and your family safe, especially around electricity.

Never Touch a Downed Power Line

When a live wire touches the ground, electricity fans out through the ground. Electricity can travel through metal or wooden fences, hoses, playscapes, and other objects. Stay at least 35 feet away from downed power lines.

Rubber gloves, rubber-soled shoes, and non-conductive tools will NOT prevent you from electrocution or shock. After severe weather with wind, ice or lightning, make sure items in your yard such as branches or personal property are not touching electrical lines or equipment.

Call 512-322-9100 to report a downed power line and 9-1-1 for an emergency hazard.

If Your Vehicle Hits a Utility Pole

If you crash into a utility pole, the entire crash site could be energized from a downed wire. If you hit a utility pole, especially if you see downed wires, don’t get out of your car.

What You Should Do

  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Tell anyone who approaches your car to stay away.
  • Only leave the car if it’s on fire, and don’t step onto the pavement while in contact with the car. Jump out instead with your feet together. Hop or shuffle at least 35 feet away to safety.

Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

Digging around electric lines can be dangerous. Prevent damage to underground utilities and safely perform site excavations by calling 8-1-1 or by visiting Texas 8-1-1 online. You may call up to 14 business days before excavating, but no later than 2 business days before excavating. 8-1-1 is open 24x7, excluding major holidays. Even if you are planning some yard work to plant a tree or create a new flower bed, calling before you dig can keep your household safer.

If you hit a utility line when digging, stop and call 8-1-1 immediately to report the hit. If the hit results in a power outage, call 512-322-9100 to report it.

If you have questions about Call Before You Dig, email Austin Energy OneCall.

Trees and Power Lines

Trees too close to electrical equipment can be dangerous. Tree branches can become energized if they contact or fall on a power line, causing a shock or worse to anyone touching that tree. Do not attempt to trim trees away from power lines yourself.

If you see sparks or a limb pulling a line from a pole or a house, call 512-322-9100. You can request non-emergency tree trimming services from our online form.

Learn more about Austin Energy tree trimming, including our regular cycle for trimming away from power lines and recommendations for the types of trees to plant around overhead lines.

Keep a Safe Distance from Austin Energy Crews

Do NOT attempt to assist emergency and utility crews who are working on electrical equipment. It's dangerous work. Let the pros handle repairs and restoration. If you have questions or concerns, contact us. If you want to thank them, give them a shout out on Austin Energy’s social media pages or call Customer Care with some kudos.

Watch Out for Scammers

Utility scammers love utility customers, especially after power outages, weather events, and even holidays. Scammers use threats and fear to try to take your money, even impersonating Austin Energy staff and phone numbers. Learn how to recognize and report scams.

Keep Your Kids Safe

Visit Austin Energy’s e-SMARTKids website to teach the next generation about electrical safety and energy science.

Date last reviewed or modified: 07/15/2024