You have heard about how dangerous high-voltage electrical wires can be: never touch a downed wire…storms can damage wires and so on. But what about the wires feeding your home? They can be dangerous too.

For residential electrical feeds, the wiring is generally 240 volt without overload protection – which means no circuit breaker will trip if there’s an overload. That’s a lot of power.

Be smart. If your home is served by underground wiring, don’t ever dig without contacting the local utility locating service.

In the case of overhead wiring, standards exist for clearances to the wires. Usually the wires must be at least 10 feet above walking surfaces, 12 feet over driveways, and 18 feet over roadways. The wires should never extend over a pool or hot tub. Wiring should not rub on any surfaces, including trees.

You may want to visually inspect for clearance over walking surfaces that were added after the electrical service was extended to your home. It’s also smart to check the clearance over patios, decks, pools, and porches that may have been added to your home.

Contact your local utility if you have a concern or a specific question. Never, never touch a wire, and never place a ladder near a wire.