As your hometown experts for everything related to electricity, the EarlyBird Electric team wants to ensure that all of our friends and neighbors in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area understands the importance of electrical safety inside their homes and outdoors. While it is rare to come across downed power lines, everyone must realize how lethal this occurrence can be if you do not follow proper safety precautions. So please, read and share these tips from our licensed electricians with loved ones to ensure that you are safe should you encounter a downed power line.

Leave Downed Power Lines To The Pros

When you see any downed power line, the most important thing is to treat it as if it is a live wire. Think of any power line as life-threatening, and you will never be sorry or, even worse, severely injured. Any time you see a downed electrical line:

  • Keep your distance
  • Never touch the downed power line with any part of your body
  • Also, never touch the line with anything you are holding like a stick, tool, or pole
  • If the power line has fallen on an object like a car, tree, or fence, never touch that object
  • Keep pets and children away from the power line
  • Do not drive your vehicle over a downed power line
  • Call 911 immediately to report the downed power line

What To Do If A Power Line Falls On Your Vehicle

If a power line falls on your vehicle, your first instinct is likely to be to escape the vehicle. However, as soon as you step to the ground, you could be severely injured by the electricity. The tires on your vehicle allow the electrical current to go to ground, so you are safe inside the car. What you should do is:

  • Roll down the windows and alert others to stay away from the car and the power line
  • Sound your horn to alert other cars of the downed power line
  • Call 911 to report the downed power line and that you are trapped inside your vehicle and need assistance
  • Wait inside your car, without reaching outside the car or touching the outside of the car until emergency services arrive and ensure that you are safe to exit the vehicle

In the event of a spark that starts a fire when your vehicle is touching a downed power line, there are several things you need to remember:

  • The fire adds an element of urgency for you to exit the vehicle
  • Remove any loose clothing that could touch the vehicle as you make your exit
  • Keep your hands and arms clutched to your body as you prepare to exit the vehicle to avoid accidental contact with the exterior of the car as your feet touch the ground
  • Jump clear of the car rather than stepping out so that you are never in contact with the vehicle and the ground
  • Keep both feet close together as you shuffle away for the car, being sure to never completely remove either foot from the ground

For more information about safety around downed power lines, call the electrical experts at EarlyBird Electric at 612-236-9052.