What It Means If You See Red Lines Painted On The Ground
By Dave Basner
May 30, 2023
When you look at a street, you'll of course see yellow lines in the middle of it and maybe some white lines on its sides, but what about those other colored lines that seem to have been spray-painted on the road or on the sidewalk? Well if they are red, much like signs and lights along a road that are that color, you should be paying close attention when you see them.
That's because red means there are important electric power lines, cables or conduits located nearby. The spray-painted lines are typically put there before a project begins to ensure that anyone digging or working in the area is careful of the conduits so as to not cause damage or injury. For that reason, the area should be approached with caution since electrical work is likely happening or about to occur.
The red color is one of a handful set up as part of the American National Standard for Safety Colors which was originally mandated by the American Public Works Association. Red isn't the only color they assigned meaning too. Orange signifies telecommunication, alarm or signal cables, yellow is for natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum or other flammable materials, green marks off sewers and drains, blue is for potable water, purple is for reclaimed water or irrigation lines, pink is for surveys or unknown facilities, and white is for proposed excavation limits or routes. Occasionally, small flags are used alongside the painted lines as well.
Keep an eye out for the lines and remember if they are red, just be mindful of your surroundings.