Downed Power Lines Mean Danger

Winter weather can cause power lines to fall to the ground. Never touch, move or go near any kind of downed or hanging line, even if it looks harmless.

Use extreme caution! Stay away from any downed lines because it may be dangerous. Getting near it could cause serious bodily injury or even death. In fact, anything touching a downed line may be dangerous. Warn others to stay away. Immediately report a downed line to your local utility company emergency center and in addition call your local police. Do not assume that the downed line is merely a telephone or cable television line. Do not put your feet into a puddle where a downed line is laying. In some instances wet or snow-covered ground can conduct electricity. Don not try to move tree limbs that are on or near power line. Remember, only knowledgeable utility company employees or someone under their supervision who is protected by the appropriate safety equipment should touch or move a downed line.

If you see someone who has been shocked and is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line do not try to touch the person. Efforts to pull an electric shock victim away could make you a second victim. Never attempt to remove a power line. The only safe procedure is to immediately call your local police or emergency services and your local utility company's emergency center.

If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay under the circumstances. Honk your horn to alert passers-by. Roll down the window and warn people not to touch the car or the line. Ask someone to call the local utility company and emergency services. The only circumstances in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire; open the door, but do not step out. Make sure that you jump completely free of the vehicle with both feet together to avoid contact with the live car (metal) and the ground at the same time. Hop as far away as possible from the vehicle keeping both feet together.

Remember, winter storms can bring down power lines. When line are down, stay away. Warn others to stay away and call your electric company or emergency services.


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