Keep objects away from transformers

They’re big. They’re often green. They generally sit on concrete, often within housing developments.

Some folks don’t like these “electrical boxes” (a common nickname for pad-mount transformers) and try to hide them with bushes, fences or flower beds. But stay clear: even small additions around pad-mount transformers create hazards.

Trico recommends leaving at least 10 feet of clear space in front of pad-mount transformers. Linemen repair units while they are energized so homeowners don’t experience an interruption in service. To ensure safety, they use an 8-foot fiberglass hot stick that requires about 10 feet of “elbow room” in front of the access panel.

Pad-mounted transformers surrounded by vegetation, dirt or a structure may overheat and cause service interruptions when the air circulation around them is compromised. Allow at least five feet of space on both sides and behind the transformer.

Because underground service continues from the transformer to your home, you should never dig anywhere in your yard without first calling 811 to find out where cables are buried.