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What to Do When You See Power Lines Down on the Ground?

February 16, 2021
by dmirza
power lines down

Severe weather events like hurricanes can leave behind a huge mess, including downed power lines. Sometimes, car accidents can also damage wires, poles, and other electrical equipment.

When you see power lines down, stay away as they can be dangerous. This way, you can prevent serious injury or death caused due to electric current shock.

First, understand that even if the lines are not sparkling, you must assume that they are energized.

Next, report low hanging power lines to the concerned authorities, namely, the police, fire department, and the utility company in your service area.

How Electricity Works

Electricity travels from high-voltage to low-voltage zones. This means electric current passes through objects that come in contact with the fallen wires.

All hanging utility wires, such as telephone and cable lines, which come into contact with a downed power line can also be hazardous. The same goes for chain link fences, tree limbs, debris, metal steps, ladders, etc.

So, even if there are downed power lines, but cut off and not sagging, they could be conducting electricity.

Furthermore, a “dead” line can become energized while power restoration efforts are going on. The current may affect your body, and hence, proceed cautiously.

Safety Tips When You Spot Power Lines Down

Here are some downed-line safety tips to prevent electrical hazards:

  1. If the power lines are on the ground, keep at least ten feet distance from them.
  2. Don’t drive over a downed power line or attempt to move it. Poles and other connected equipment can come crashing down.
  3. If there is a puddle near the location, don’t step into the water.
  4. Don’t use a stick, broom, or any other item to move power lines that fell on another object. Even non-conductive materials like wood can cause electrocution in some cases.
  5. When you see power lines down and a person in direct or indirect contact with them, don’t touch them. Otherwise, you could be the next possible victim. Instead, call 911 and report low to your electrical utility.

If You Are in a Vehicle

Suppose you are in a car, and the damaged power lines fall on your vehicle. Roll down the windows, honk the horn, and warn others to keep a safe distance.

Without delay, call 911 and stay put while help arrives.

During this period, don’t leave the vehicle unless a fire happens. Jump with both feet together to avoid simultaneous contact with the ground and car. Move away from the spot in small steps, as in a shuffle, keeping your feet together.

Educate Yourself About Electrical Hazards

One common myth is that it is okay to drive over the downed lines on the ground. People think that they have insulation like the ones you see in power cords. However, what surrounds the wire is actually a weatherproof material, offering no insulation.

Educate yourself and stay safe from electrical hazards by using the resources at Shop Texas Electricity. On this platform, you can compare affordable energy plans in Texas.

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