Six Things That Might Save Your Life If You Encounter A Downed Power Line
Downed power lines can pose a lethal threat to you and your loved ones if you do not know the proper action to take to avoid electrocution. Here are a few tips that might one day save your life:
1. What should I do if I encounter a downed power line? If you see a downed power line, move at least 10 feet away from it and anything touching it. The human body is a ready conductor of electricity. The proper way to move away from the line, or the area in and around the line, is to shuffle with your feet using small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times.
2. How can I help someone who may have come in contact with a downed power line? If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with a downed lined, DO NOT touch the person. Although you may have a natural inclination to provide help, if you touch them you may become the next victim. CALL 911 instead.
3. Can I use a non-metal object to move the line away? No! Do not attempt to use any object, non-metal or otherwise, to move a downed power line. Even non-conductive materials, like wood or cloth, if just slightly damp, can conduct electricity. It is not worth the risk to try.
4. What do I do if I see a downed power while I’m driving? DO NOT drive over the line.
5. What if a downed power line falls onto my car or I drive over it? Wires from a downed line can also be deadly. Never go near a downed power line as live wires may be present even after the pole falls or until the electricity is turned off. People have also died after their car strikes an electrical pole and the live wires touch their car.
It is IMPORTANT to remember that if you are in your car and it makes contact with a downed line, STAY IN YOUR CAR and warn others who may try to approach and help, to also STAY AWAY.
If you are forced to leave your car due to fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid contact with the live car and the ground at the same time. You then avoid being a path of electricity from the car to the earth. Shuffle away from the car.
6. What if the downed line lands in water like a puddle or pool? Water is a good conductor of electricity and even the smallest amount of water can become energized. Do not touch the water, or anything that is in contact with the water, near the downed power line.
And finally, one of the most important things to always remember if faced with a downed power line or any dangerous condition, KEEP CALM and think it through. Be safe!