hero image
Are Overhead Power Lines Covered with Insulation? NO!
NOVEMBER 2020 – Everyone's resources have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help prevent locate delays by pre-marking your proposed dig area in white and notifying 811 of your planned excavation with as much lead time as is possible in your state. To learn more about Duke Energy's response to COVID-19, click here.
Power Lines Are Not Covered with an Insulating Material

Most overhead power lines are made of either copper or highly conductive aluminum with a steel core – and they are NOT covered with an insulating material. If you look up at a utility pole or tower, you may not be able to identify which lines are communication cables and which are energized wires. You should assume that any wire on a utility pole or tower is energized and dangerous, and stay far away. All downed wires should also be considered energized and dangerous, so stay far away from them as well and call 911 immediately.

Power Lines

Order a FREE worker safety training kit on the Duke e-SMARTworkers website.

Order Kit
Don’t Be Fooled by the Coating

Some power lines may appear insulated, but the coating that covers them is meant to protect the line from the elements – it does not protect people from electrical contact. Any contact with overhead lines could cause serious injury or even death.

Distance Is Your Best Protection

Keep yourself, your tools and all equipment at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines carrying 50 kV or less. Higher-voltage lines require greater working distances. Contact Duke Energy in your state to confirm power line voltages and distance requirements for your job site.

Would You Like to Know More?

Additional digging and overhead guidelines, case studies, instructional videos, training tools and safety tips can all be found, at no charge to you, on Duke Energy's e-SMARTworkers website.

In an Electrical Emergency, Call 911 and Duke Energy Immediately at:
Duke Energy Progress:
Dig Safely

Most state laws require at least two to three full working days' notice. Call 811 or use the online ticket system in your state at:

North Carolina: nc811.org
South Carolina: sc811.com
Florida: sunshine811.com
Indiana: indiana811.org
Kentucky: kentucky811.org
Ohio: ohio811.org
Call 811
For more contractor safety information, visit duke-energy.com.