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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