Downed Power Line Safety
Downed power lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or death. If you see a downed electric line, stay at least 50 feet away and call our emergency phone number at 800-282-8610 immediately.
These tips can help you stay safe around downed lines:
- If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it.
- The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle with small steps, keeping your feet together, and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
- If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person: You could become the next victim. Call 911 instead.
- Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the line by using another object such as a broom or stick. Even normally non-conductive materials like wood or cloth, if slightly wet, can conduct electricity.
- Be careful not to put your feet near water where a downed power line is located.
- Do not drive over downed lines.
- If you are in a vehicle that is in contact with a downed line, stay in the vehicle. Honk your horn for help and tell non-emergency personnel to stay away from your vehicle.
- If your vehicle becomes unsafe and you must leave, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid making contact with the energized vehicle and the ground at the same time. This way you avoid being the path of electricity from the vehicle to the earth. Shuffle-step or bunny hop (both feet contacting the earth at the same time) until you are 50 feet from the downed line. If you can still feel a tingling sensation in your legs, repeat until you are safely away from the scene.