Downed Power Line Safety

Downed power lines can be deadly. They can energize the ground for up to 35 feet (or more in wet conditions). The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recommends that downed power lines should always be assumed to be live to reduce the risk of severe injury or fatality.

Here are some safety tips from the EFSI for dealing with downed power lines.

· Call 9-1-1.

· Don’t try to move a downed power line.

· Don’t drive over downed power lines or through water that is in contact with them.

If inside a vehicle that has made contact with a power line or utility pole, the EFSI recommends the following.

· Call 9-1-1.

· Stay in the vehicle unless you see fire or smoke.

· Warn others to stay at least 35 feet away.

· If you see fire or smoke, jump from the vehicle with your feet together.

· Do not touch the ground and vehicle at the same time.

· Avoid lifting your feet as you move away from the vehicle – shuffle, don’t walk.

Check out the e-Risk Management newsletter archive for more tips.

Mike Schofield
President & CEO