Overhead Lines

Karnes Electric Cooperative, Inc. is deeply concerned about your safety and the safety of the general public. Electricity can cause serious injury or death if not used with proper caution and safeguards.

Maintaining the proper clearance from a high voltage electric line is not just good safety practice, it’s the law (Texas Civil Statute, Article 1436-C). In Texas, any contractor, corporation or individual not affiliated with the utility must follow these guidelines:
  • No person will perform any activity within ten feet of overhead lines
  • No person will operate or use any tool, equipment, machinery or material where it is possible that these devices will come within ten feet of overhead lines
  • No person will operate any equipment, such as derricks, cranes, power shovels, hay loaders, pile drivers, hoisting equipment or similar devices, within ten feet of overhead lines.
Electricity is a wonderful gift – but it is a gift that can kill or maim when used improperly.
  • Never place a ladder near your electric service entrance.
  • Never insert anything except an approved plug into a wall outlet.
  • Never fly kites near power lines.
  • Never approach any power line lying on the ground.
  • Never climb or attach items to utility poles.
  • Never attempt to raise or move a power line.
Please do not erect or construct any buildings, structures, or antennas near electric lines unless you have contacted the Cooperative for assistance.

Only authorized Cooperative personnel can connect or disconnect your service, make modifications to the Cooperative’s facilities, or change out or bypass Cooperative equipment.

Any unauthorized intrusion on Cooperative real property constitutes trespass.

No posters, banners, cables, signs, light fixtures, ladders, antennas, basketball backboards, fences, structures, utility or telecommunications equipment, grounding devices, supports or any other type of foreign object may be attached to the Cooperative’s property and/or equipment unless specifically identified in a separate written contract or upon the written authorization of the Manager.

The Cooperative will notify, or make a reasonable effort to notify any person or corporation who violates this provision and request that they remove all foreign objects and/or equipment from the Cooperative’s property. If the infringing party fails to remove the unauthorized foreign objects and/or equipment within fourteen (14) days, the Cooperative will remove said unauthorized foreign objects and/or equipment and bill the party for all costs incurred.

The Cooperative may immediately remove any unauthorized foreign objects and/or equipment from Cooperative real property without notice and without liability if said object:
A.    constitutes a safety hazard, or
B.    impedes the construction, maintenance, or relocation of Cooperative equipment.
These unauthorized foreign objects increase the potential danger to our linemen, interfere with the Cooperative’s ability to perform maintenance and restore electric service, and may be dangers to the general public.

Please call the Cooperative immediately if you see any condition which you think is unsafe or hazardous. If in doubt about the circumstances, please call.

Downed Lines

Weather and car accidents are the main causes of downed power lines. Always stay clear of power lines. Even if they don’t hum, spark or “dance,” downed lines can be dangerous - they can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or even death.

Follow these rules:
  • If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it.
  • The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times to minimize the chance for a human path of electric current.
  • If someone is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. Call 911 instead.
  • Don’t try to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the line by using another object such as a broom or stick.
  • Don’t drive over downed power lines.
  • If you are in your car and it is in contact with a downed line, stay in your car. Honk your horn for help but tell others to stay away from your vehicle. Call 911 if you have a cell phone or ask passersby to do it.
 Tree Trimming

We love our trees, but when trees and branches are too close to power lines, they can cause power outages, fire hazards and safety concerns.

Tree trimming rules:
  • If a tree or a large branch is touching or falls on an electric line, call your electric cooperative immediately. Tree sap is an excellent conductor of electricity, so a downed branch on a line is an electrocution hazard as well as a fire hazard.
  • Never trim trees that grow close to power lines; that is a job for professionals. Call Karnes Electric for assistance and guidance.
  • Don’t allow children to climb trees or build tree houses close to power lines.
  • When planting a tree, plan ahead. At maturity, your trees should not be within ten feet of a power line.
  • Plant appropriate distances from all power lines - those along the street or right-of way, as well as those running to your home and outbuildings.
ALWAYS contact Karnes Electric Cooperative, Inc. whenever you have questions regarding electrical safety!