Stay safe around power lines
Tree and power line safety
Learn what's overhead
Different types of overhead lines may be visible in your neighborhood. Tree safety work and vegetation clearance requirements will vary depending upon the type of line.
PG&E power lines
Usually located on metal towers up to 180 feet tall, they transport high-voltage electricity and serve entire cities and towns. We maintain year-round clearances around these lines to reduce the likelihood of power outages across large areas.
Usually located at the top of wood poles above the pole-mounted transformer, they deliver into local neighborhoods. We maintain a minimum clearance of 18 inches around these power lines, with high fire-threat areas requiring a minimum 4-foot clearance.
Usually located below primary lines on the same poles beneath the pole-mounted transformer, they typically carry electricity directly to homes or businesses through connected service wires. We clear vegetation from secondary lines if we determine there is strain or abrasion.
Wires that connect directly from secondary lines to your home or business. Customers are responsible for maintaining service wires to keep them free of vegetation.
Lowest lines on the wood utility pole. These are telecommunication wires, which are usually black and appear thicker than power lines. We do not own or maintain these wires, and it's common to see trees and vegetation near them.
If you see trees or vegetation growing too close to overhead power lines maintained by PG&E, or to request a free temporary service disconnect, please contact us at 1-800-743-5000.
Whether you're pruning trees, decorating for the holidays or keeping up with home maintenance, follow these tips to stay safe around power lines:
Be aware of your surroundings. Look for any nearby power lines.
Keep all objects away
Keep equipment, ladders, antennas, kites and metallic balloons away from power lines. Also, tools with long handles, such as brooms and rakes.
Never touch a power line with an object or any part of your body.
Tell your kids
Never climb transmission towers, utility poles or trees near power lines.
Work at a safe distance
Keep at least 10 feet away from power lines.
Report downed power lines
Stay at least 25 feet away and call 9-1-1 immediately. Then, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
PG&E has precautionary measures in place to help reduce the risk of wildfires. Our goal is to help customers prepare for and stay safe during extreme weather events, including sending notifications when and where possible when power may be turned off for safety.
For public safety, it may be necessary for us to temporarily turn off electricity when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, threaten a portion of the electric system. We will attempt to contact customers in advance to ensure there’s enough time to prepare.
These situations can bring down power lines
Stay far away from downed lines caused by:
- Vehicle accidents
- Snow loading
- Wind and rain, stormy weather
- Tree limbs failing, including summer “limb drop”
Avoid digging into underground lines
Power lines can be located anywhere, including underground. Always call 8-1-1 before you dig.