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  • Writer's pictureJM-Simplified

Know what to do if you see a downed power line

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

Avoid touching or approaching a fallen power line.

Downed power lines are dangerous. Never touch them. For safety’s sake, always assume that a fallen power line is live, and follow these guidelines:

• Avoid touching the downed line with your hand or an object, such as a stick, broom or pole.

• Avoid touching anything, such as a car, object or equipment, or anyone who is in contact with a fallen power line.

• Keep children and pets away from fallen electric lines.

• Avoid driving over a fallen power line.

• Call 9-1-1 immediately to report a fallen power line.

Stay safe if a fallen power line touches your car.

If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line, follow these safety rules:

• Stay inside your car. The ground around your car may be energized.

• Sound the horn, roll down your window and call for help.

• Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around your car can be injured.

• Use your mobile phone to call 9-1-1.

• Wait until the fire department, police or PG&E workers tell you it’s safe to get out of your car before exiting the vehicle.

If your car is in contact with a fallen power line and a fire starts, follow these guidelines when exiting your vehicle:

• Remove loose items of clothing.

• Keep your hands at your sides and jump clear of the vehicle, so you are not touching the car when your feet hit the ground.

• Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.

Follow these safety tips when using balloons and toys around power lines

• Ensure that helium-filled metallic balloons are tied to weights heavy enough to prevent them from floating into power lines.

• Use metallic balloons, kites and remote-control toys away from overhead electric lines to avoid the potential for power outages, fires and serious injuries.

• Call 9-1-1 immediately to report if a balloon or toy is caught in a power line. Never attempt to retrieve an object that is on or near a power line.

Look up and live

Remember these important safety tips for overhead power lines:

• Look up before lifting ladders and other long-handled tools to avoid accidental contact with electric lines.

• Stay away from fallen or dangling power lines. Don’t touch the lines. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

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