Safety contacts

In case of emergency: call 911

Report an outage

for sparking or downed lines and outages (only after calling 911 first)

Equipment issues

for pipeline damage (particularly when digging)

for a downed fence near substations

Safety around power lines, substations and transformers

SMUD lineworkers working on a power pole

Downed lines

If overhead power lines are downed for any reason, stay clear. Call 911 or 1-888-456-7683 for assistance. Do not touch the wires.

If the downed power lines have fallen on a motor vehicle, avoid contact with the vehicle - it has probably been electrified and deadly shock could result if you touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Stay clear until you are sure the power is shut off.

Overhead lines

Avoid contacting power lines, whether directly or with another object. Don't climb on wooden utility poles, metal transmission towers or any trees that may bring you into contact with power lines.

Objects can get hung up in power lines or in a tree near an overhead line. Don't try to pull it down or climb on anything to get it. Call SMUD at 1-888-742-7683 and we'll get it down for you.

Right tree, right place

For safety and reliability, some trees should never be planted near power lines. Trees interfering with power lines are a major cause of power outages and can create safety hazards. We offer tree safety tips to help you plant the right tree in the right place.

Pole obstructions

We routinely inspect our electrical equipment and our crews need clear access at all times. For your safety and ours, please keep at least a 3-feet clearance around utility poles. 

Electric and magnetic fields

We get questions about the possible health effects of being exposed to certain electric and magnetic fields, which are found whenever you have electric power.

SMUD offers a brochure that contains helpful information about this subject. There are also practical tips you can use if you want to reduce your exposure at home and at work.


Substations contain large, high-voltage equipment to serve many homes and businesses. We fence off this high-voltage equipment and post warnings for your safety. Please don’t allow children to play near a substation and never attempt to enter one. If you notice a damaged fence, please contact SMUD security at 1-916-732-5900.

Underground utility lines

Digging a hole to plant a tree or put in a new fence? Be safe and call before you dig.

Learn the location of any underground utilities near your home by contacting Underground Service Alert. Call 811 at least two working days before digging. They are open 6 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Proper clearance

In some areas with underground power lines, we put transformer boxes on the property. If you have one in your yard or at your business, you can help yourself, your neighbors and our workers by making sure there is at least eight feet of clearance around them.

Keeping plants and structures away from the green metal boxes will help our crews restore power more quickly during an outage. The eight-foot clearance helps SMUD crews perform scheduled maintenance more safely and efficiently. It’s also required by law.

For more information about clear space requirements around neighborhood electrical transformers, call us at 1-888-742-7683.

This course is designed to provide contractor personnel working in SMUD substation facilities with the knowledge to enter the facilities safely. 

Download our 2023 Substation Access Training for Contractors

Two SMUD employees work on a gas pipeline.

Natural gas pipeline safety

While we don’t sell natural gas to homes, we do use natural gas. Our high-pressure underground pipelines are the safest proven method of transporting natural gas.

 Learn more
Get tips to drive safely and find out what to do if you hit a power pole.
Sometimes we need to access equipment on your property to perform inspections or make repairs.
We clear vegetation away from equipment to reduce the chances of power outages.
Nails, staples and pins used to post signs on power poles can be unsafe for our workers.
Theft and vandalism of our equipment costs you money and may create power outages.
With underground pipelines, it's important to know where to dig to avoid dangerous situations.