Electrical Safety Tips

Learn how to stay safe around electricity, indoors and out.

Outdoor Electrical Safety

Downed Power Lines

  • NEVER touch fallen power lines or try to rescue someone in contact with a power line.
  • If a line falls on your car while you're in it, stay inside and wait for help. If you have to get out because it's on fire or filling with smoke, open the door and without touching the sides of the car jump out and land with both feet together and then shuffle away keeping your feet as close together as possible and not lifting them off the ground.
  • Call TID at (209) 883-8301 (24-hour hotline) or 911 to report a downed line.

Power Lines, Poles and Substations

  • Electrical substations are dangerous. Never allow children to play near them.
  • Do not allow children to climb on utility poles, transmission lines, or trees that may put them in contact with high voltage power lines.
  • Never fly kites, Mylar balloons or model airplanes near power lines.
  • Avoid climbing trees that are near or in contact with power lines.
  • Beware of power lines when using/moving ladders.

Indoor Electrical Safety

General Indoor Safety

  • Water and electricity don't mix.
  • Never use electric equipment if your hands or feet are wet or on a wet surface.
  • Don't use frayed cords.
  • Know how to safely reset your circuit breaker or replace a blown fuse.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning, and smoke alarms to warn of a possible fire. Never use generators or propane heaters inside.
  • Make sure you have fire extinguishers stored in accessible locations, and know how to use them.


  • Don't overload outlets.
  • Install surge protectors to protect equipment.
  • Protect yourself from electrical shock by using Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFI's) in kitchen and bathroom outlets where water and electricity may come into contact.
  • Protect children and pets by covering unused wall outlets with plastic safety caps throughout your home.
  • Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn't fit. Doing so could lead to fire or shock.
  • Plugs should fit securely into an outlet.
  • Never remove the third prong of a three-pronged plug. The third prong is designed to safely ground electricity.

Light Fixtures and Appliances

  • Always install light bulbs that are the correct wattage for the size of the fixtures. Additionally, if planning to use the bulb for a specific application or feature, such as dimming, make sure the bulb's packaging indicates it is appropriate for that specific use.
  • Repair or replace an appliance that repeatedly blows a fuse or trips a circuit, or if it has caused an electric shock.
  • Unplug all appliances before working on them.

Tree Trimming
Trees placed too close to power lines create fire and safety hazards and cause power outages. TID is responsible for trimming trees around its high voltage lines throughout the District.  These trees are inspected and pruned at regular intervals.

However, TID is not responsible for trimming trees and vegetation from low voltage overhead service lines that connect to our customer's homes and businesses. Trimming of trees and vegetation from these service wires is the responsibility of District customers.

Trees and vegetation in contact with service wires can interrupt electric service, cause damage to customer electric devices and become a fire hazard. For more information, including what you should do if you receive electricity from overhead wires, view the Tree Trimming page.

Underground Utility Lines
Call Underground Service Alert (USA) at 1-800-227-2600 at least two business days before you dig.