Downed Power Lines
In partnership with the Electrical Safety Foundation International, we want to ensure your safety when living and working around electrical power. We encourage you to visit their website for extensive resources on safety.
Remember, downed power lines can be deadly. Always assume a downed power line is energized and avoid going near it or anything in contact with. Use caution. Downed power lines can energize the ground up to 35 feet away.
If you see a downed power line, notify the local authorities immediately.
Never drive over a downed power line or water that's in contact with a downed power line. Never try to move a downed power line. Even using items that typically are not conductive WILL NOT prevent injury or death.
If your car comes in contact with a power line, stay in your vehicle until help comes. Do not touch any part of your car's frame or any other metal. Use a cell phone or honk your horn to summon help. Allow only rescue personnel to approach your car!
If your car is in contact with a downed power line and you must exit due to fire or another imminent threat:
1. Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time with any part of your body or clothing.
2. Open the door to your vehicle without touching the metal door frame.
3. Jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and so both feet land at the same time.
4. Shuffle away so that the toe of one foot shuffles forward along the length of the other foot, ensuring that both feet are in constant contact and always touching the ground.
If you witness a car collision with a power pole, do not approach the accident. By trying to help, you will put your own life at risk. The best thing to do is contact emergency responders and stay far away from the accident.
Power lines may be difficult to see if they are covered in snow or ice, so be cautious if you must be out driving after a winter storm.