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Are Overhead Power Lines Covered with Insulation? NO!
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 Duquesne Light’s response to COVID-19, click here.
Power Lines are Not Covered with an Insulating Material
Most overhead power lines are made of highly conductive aluminum with a steel core, or copper—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 away. All downed wires should also be considered energized and dangerous. Stay far away from them as well and call 911 immediately.

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. So consider ALL power lines energized and dangerous. Any contact with overhead lines could cause serious injury to operators and ground crew.
Distance Is Your Best Protection
Keep yourself, your tools and all equipment at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines carrying 50,000 volts or less. Higher-voltage lines require greater working distances. Contact Duquesne Light at 412-393-7100 to confirm power line voltages and distance requirements for your job site.
Would You Like to Know More?
Additional overhead and digging guidelines, instructional videos and training tools can all be found at no charge to you on Duquesne Light's e-SMARTworkers website.
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811 Know what's below. Call before you dig.

For emergencies, call
911 and Duquesne Light
at 888-393-7000 or

Contact Duquesne Light at 412-393-7100 for power line assistance or questions.

For more contractor safety information,
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