Electrical Safety

Play it safe

Electricity is all around you. It is very powerful. Every year, electrical hazards cause injury and death – most of which could be prevented.

The tips in this section will help you stay safe during work and play.

Report an outage


Call to report an outage or emergency involving power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


E-mail customerservice@gcpud.org or call us at 509.766.2505.

For an emergency regarding street light call us anytime at (800) 216-5226.

Do not call 911 to report an outage

Stay Informed

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for power outage information.

For more helpful tips on how to prepare for a power outage emergency…


Scheduled outages

In the event of a scheduled outage, we will attempt to contact customers with known life-support equipment ahead of time so they know the date, time and length of the planned outage.

Be prepared

Customers with medical needs should make preparations in advance for power outages due to storms or other causes. Participation in the program does not mean that power will not be disconnected for nonpayment or interrupted due to an unplanned outage.

Emergency preparedness

All households should assemble an emergency kit to improve comfort and safety during prolonged power outages or other emergencies.

Contact the Grant County Department of Emergency Management at (509) 762-1462 and visit ready.gov for specifics on creating an emergency kit and forming a family emergency plan.

various emergency supplies such as flashlights, rope, compass, medical supplies, radio, food, water, tape and backpack

Your kit should include the following:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air.
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, such as water or natural gas.
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Prescription medications or other important supplies specific to your family

Call at least two business days before you plan to dig and be prepared to:

  • Pinpoint the location of your dig site
  • Describe the type of work to be done
  • Know start date and time

Save your life

Power lines and gas lines can be dangerous and deadly. Let 811 help you locate underground utilities before you dig so you can stay safe and sound.

Save your property

Rupturing a gas pipe or power line can cause a serious fire or explosion.

Save money

Calling in a locate request is FREE. With one quick telephone call, all the utilities in your area will be notified to come and mark the location of their lines.

It’s the law

According to RCW 19.122, anyone digging deeper than 12 inches must call for locates two business days before they dig. This holds true for private property, city, county, state or federal lands and railroad right-of-way.

downed power line near trees

Downed power lines

  • Always stay away from downed lines. Never touch anyone or anything that is being shocked or touching the line. Call us to report a downed power line.
  • If a downed line is touching a vehicle you are in, warn others to stay away and wait for help. Do not touch the metal parts of the vehicle. If you must get out, jump clear with your feet together – never touch the ground and the vehicle at the same time.
overhead power lines with sunset in background

Overhead lines

  • Never touch power lines and do not allow anyone to shoot at poles or lines. Damaged equipment could allow the pole to become energized and cause injury.
  • Check for overhead lines when working outside with ladders, antennas, irrigation pipe and long-handled items. Never work within 10 feet of a power line.
  • Do not climb trees near power lines and never climb a utility pole or tower for any reason.
  • Do not attach signs and other items to utility poles. This is dangerous for our crews who work on the poles and it’s against the law.
family flying a kite


  • Use only 100 percent cotton string – never wire or tinsel in your kite or string.
  • Fly kites in open areas free of power lines. When kites touch power lines, electricity may travel down the string right to you.
  • If your kite gets caught in a power line, drop the string and leave it there. Call us for help.
  • Also, do not release helium balloons under power lines as they can cause equipment to malfunction.
dark green electrical box with sticker that says danger, high voltage.

Underground utilities

  • Those big green metal boxes are actually electrical equipment that distributes underground power to homes and businesses.
  • Keep an eight-foot clearance in front of the unit and three feet on the other sides.
  • Children should never play near transformers.
  • If you find unlocked or damaged equipment, please call us immediately.
  • Power lines can run underground. Washington state law requires anyone digging deeper than 12 inches to Call 811 Before You Dig by dialing 811 for free locates at least two business days before digging.

Water & fire safety

For information on how to safely enjoy outdoor recreational activities in Grant County, visit our water and fire safety page.

wall outlet

Circuits and outlets

  • Always use the correct ampere rated fuses or circuit breakers. Incorrect amperage can cause power outages or fires. You may have an electrical wiring problem if you frequently replace fuses, reset circuit breakers, hear buzzing sounds or see sparks and/or flickering lights. Contact a licensed electrician to inspect for safety hazards and make necessary repairs.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) where there is greater potential of shock — kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, porches and patios. These safety devices reduce the risk of electrocution and should be tested periodically.
  • Outlet covers protect your children. Use them throughout your home.
  • Be careful not to overload outlets with multiple plug-in adapters or power strips. Overloading can cause fires.

Power cords

  • Remove cords from outlets by pulling the plug rather than the cord. Replace cords that are damaged. Avoid carrying items by their cord. Never remove the third prong from a cord. It connects with a ground wire to keep you safe.
  • Use extension cords with caution. They are only for temporary use. Prolonged use can cause overheating and fire. If used, do not exceed the recommended load rating. Do not plug two extension cords together and do not place cords under rugs or carpet.
power cord
water droplet

Electricity and water

Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, which makes the two a dangerous combination. Use hairdryers, telephones and other electrical devices away from sinks, tubs, spas and wet counters or floors. Do not pick up or unplug an appliance that has fallen into water. Instead, turn the power off at the breaker before unplugging. Use dry hands on appliances and light switches.