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Since electricity is an essential part of our lives, it is important for us to be aware of the possible hazards associated with power lines. After a storm, for example, debris or water can hide a fallen line that is still energized. Georgia law prohibits working within 10 feet of a high-voltage line (750 volts and above) without calling first and ensuring safety precautions are taken. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's standards require workers to stay more than 10 feet away from power lines of 50-kilovolts or higher. The state also has a “call before you dig law” to protect people from digging into an underground power line. Violators of the state’s power line safety laws are strictly liable for resulting injuries and damages.
In Georgia, it’s against the law to work within 10 feet of a high-voltage power line without first reporting it to Georgia 811, the Utilities Protection Center. It’s simple – just dial 811. The center can also be reached at (800) 282-7411, or in Atlanta (770) 623-4344. The High-voltage Safety Act brochure provides more information.
Accidentally digging into an underground power line, sewer line, gas line and other utility can result in injuries and expensive property damage. That’s why the state has call-before-you-dig laws. Before digging, just call 811. When you call, Georgia 811 will notify a member utility that will send a locater to mark your utility lines with flags and/or paint markings. Find out more online at Georgia 811.
After a storm, remember to stay away from downed wires or anything that could be touching a downed wire. Pay particular attention to debris and water that can hide a fallen line, because anything touching an energized line can also electrocute you. Please report downed wires by calling 911 or our Control Center at (800) 241-5375.
We also ask that you call your EMC or power company for instructions when hooking up power generators because mistakes can cost the lives of homeowners and utility workers working on lines nearby.