Stay Clear of Power Lines

Family outside in snow

Downed power lines are very dangerous. Read these tips to avoid injury.

If you see a downed power line. Remember these simple but important tips:

1. Keep your distance

  • Never touch it with your hand or any other object, under any circumstance.
  • Stay at least 15 yards away from a downed power line or other damaged facility.
  • Remember the voltage on the ground is highest in the area immediately around the electrical source and decreases with distance. Walking over the area can cause a fatal shock.

2. If you feel a tingling sensation

  • Stop immediately, place your feet together and shuffle or hop out of the area without touching anything with your hands.

3. If you are driving a vehicle that touches a downed power line

  • You are generally safe as long as you stay in the vehicle.
  • Others outside the vehicle are safe if they stay back at least 15 yards.

4. If you are able to drive

  • Slowly move at least 15 yards clear of the downed power line and any pools of water.

5. If you are unable to drive the vehicle

  • Stay inside until the electric utility company arrives to help.

6. If you must leave the vehicle due to immediate danger (such as a vehicle fire)

  • Jump out of the vehicle with your feet together. Avoid touching the car and the ground at the same time.
  • Shuffle or hop away to a safe distance, at least 15 yards from the vehicle.