Touching a power line can cause serious injury or death. You can’t tell by looking whether a line is “live” or “hot” or not. Even if a downed line isn’t actively sparking, always assume it is carrying electricity.
If you come across a downed utility wire of any kind, always do the following:
- Assume it’s energized and stay as far away as you can.
Energized lines can charge the ground near the point of contact and may electrocute you. If a person or pet comes into contact with a downed power line, remain clear. Do not touch them or the wire.
- Call 911 or the utility serving the location.
For For First Energy (JCP&L) call: 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) and select the option to report a downed power line. Leave everything to utility professionals and emergency personnel.
- Do not drive over downed power lines.
Even if they’re not energized, downed wires can get entangled with your vehicle and cause further damage.
- Stay in your car.
If a power line falls on your vehicle while you’re driving, do not exit until you know for sure that the line is de-energized.
- If you must evacuate, jump away and land with both feet together.
Do not touch the vehicle while stepping on the ground, as this can create a path for electricity to run through you.
- Shuffle away to safety.
Keep your feet together and take small, shuffling steps until you’re at least 35 feet away. Taking larger steps can also create a path for electricity to run through you.
To learn more about downed power line safety, watch the video below from Puget Sound Energy:
H/T: Puget Sound Energy. Additional from First Energy Corp. Header image via Columbia Missourian.