National Grid
Tips of the Trade

  Working safely after winter storms

Welcome to National Grid’s Tips of the Trade. National Grid is committed to your safety, and these tips are intended to help you work safely near our facilities. Please review these tips with your coworkers at your tailgate or toolbox meetings before work begins.

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Follow these tips to protect yourself and others when working in stormy conditions.


Use generators safely
To prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, use generators outdoors in open areas only and at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents. If a CO alarm sounds, evacuate the structure and seek fresh air outdoors.

NEVER plug a generator into a wall outlet. Power can energize utility lines, making them unsafe for repair crews and possibly delaying power restoration.

Avoid natural gas hazards

  • Make sure vent lines for dryers, water heaters or other gas-fueled equipment are properly connected and not blocked or disturbed. Clear snow and ice from vents.
  • Confirm with the property owner the location of natural gas meters and piping before working in or around any structure.
  • Do not operate any gas appliance that was affected by floodwaters until a qualified professional inspects it and any necessary repairs have been made.
  • If the job involves demolition or major renovation to a structure with active gas service, contact National Grid at least 15 days prior to starting work to arrange for the gas line and meter to be properly disconnected.
    • Do NOT start work until you receive a Service Line Disconnect Letter.

Avoid electrical hazards

  • Stay out of flooded basements.
  • Do NOT touch electrical appliances or equipment if you are wet or standing
    in water.
  • If you must work in stormy conditions, use tools and extension cords that are suitable for outdoor use and plug them into ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for shock protection.

Be alert for power lines
Look up to locate overhead power lines before beginning ANY outdoor job, and make sure to keep yourself and your tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from lines up to 50 kV; higher voltages require greater clearances.

If you see a fallen power line, assume it is energized and dangerous. Stay far away from the line and anything it is contacting, and report it to 911 and National Grid or the local electric utility. Avoid walking and driving through floodwaters, as they may hide fallen power lines.

For more contractor safety information, visit

  Know what's below. Call 811 before you dig.  
  To report emergencies, call 911 and National Grid immediately.

  In case of gas emergencies:
Long Island and the Rockaways:
911 and 1-800-490-0045

Metro New York:
911 and 1-718-643-4050

Upstate New York:
911 and 1-800-892-2345

911 and 1-800-233-5325

Rhode Island:
911 and 1-800-640-1595

  In case of electric emergencies:
Upstate New York:
911 and 1-800-867-5222

911 and 1-800-465-1212

Rhode Island:
911 and 1-800-465-1212

Smell Gas. Act Fast.
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