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PUC Urges ‘Pokémon Go’ Players to Stay Clear of Utility Property; Trespassing Could Result in Personal Safety & Security Risks

Date: July 22, 2016
Contact: Nils Hagen-Frederiksen
(717) 787-5722 or

PUC Urges ‘Pokémon Go’ Players to Stay Clear of Utility Property;
Trespassing Could Result in Personal Safety & Security Risks

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is
encouraging Pokémon Go players across Pennsylvania to always be aware of
their location and surroundings – including utility infrastructure, such as water
towers and reservoirs; along with power plants, electric substations, power lines
and other similar facilities.

Some players focused on the new augmented reality game may wander
too close to secure utility facilities, either accidentally – because they are focused
intently on the game – or because they believe that some elusive Pokémon might
be found there. Additionally, the location of some Pokémon “gyms”, where
players gather to virtually battle other players, could also generate concerns
around utility property that is considered critical infrastructure – triggering calls to
security services or police. The Commission also urges players to avoid
trespassing on railroad tracks or playing the game in other potentially hazardous

The Commission offered the following tips for safety around utility

• Respect warning signs – they are there for your protection and to
safeguard utility systems.
• Do not attempt to climb poles or fences around utility property.
• Never touch or reach for power lines or other utility equipment.
• Stay at least 10 feet away from any power lines – and don’t touch trees
or other objects that are closer than 10 feet to any power line.

The Commission encourages caution around all utility infrastructure,
whether people are playing a game, working around the house or on the job –
noting that every year a number of Pennsylvanians are killed or seriously injured
by accidental encounters with electric power lines around their homes or

There have been scattered reports across Pennsylvania, and across the
country, of players trespassing in various locations or being injured by falls or
encounters with traffic. For other general Pokémon safety tips, players are
encouraged to review the community awareness bulletin issued by the
Pennsylvania State Police.

P.O. BOX 3265, HARRISBURG, PA 17105-3265

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of
consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable
rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and
informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new
technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or
more information about the PUC, visit our website at Follow the
PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility.

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