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A Matter of Life & Death

Lineman following Safery Protocalls

Electricity provides necessities and luxuries that certainly add to the quality of our lives. However, carelessness with electricity can unfortunately result in burns, injuries or even death.

Similar to lightning, electricity is always striving to find a path to the ground. Should any part of your body come in contact directly or indirectly with an energized object, you have provided that pathway to the ground and, therefore, are in immediate danger


Washington EMC encourages you to remember the following safety rules:

  • Consider any electrical lines dangerous. Keep all objects (example: kites, ladders and antennas) away from power lines.
  • Do not attempt to raise or move electric lines.
  • If your utilities are underground, call the Utilities Protection Center (UPC) before digging. UPC will request that Washington EMC and your other utilities mark underground lines. Remember, it’s the law that you must call UPC before digging!
  • Report to Washington EMC any potential power line hazards, including trees growing into the lines.
  • Always stay away from any electric line down on the ground. Call Washington EMC immediately.
  • Never touch a person or object that is in contact with a power line.


The “Utility Protection Center” or UPC takes requests for all utilities with overhead and underground equipment. It’s a FREE call. All you do is give your name, address, type of work, and telephone number, then UPC will contact each utility listed for your area. UPC will also give you a verification number to prove you called in accordance with Georgia Law.

Under Georgia Law, each utility has 72 hours (3 days) to locate their facilities. The days do not include holidays and weekends. Calls after 3 p.m. EDT will begin the three day rule the next working day. Also remember when working within the vicinity of overhead lines, call the UPC just like calling before you dig.