Power Line Safety
From straight-line winds to ice storms, severe weather is one of the main causes of downed power lines.
Downed lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or death, even if they are not moving, humming or sparking. The best advice is to stay away from downed lines.
Follow these rules:
- If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and from anything touching it. The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle away: take small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times to minimize the chance for a human path of electric current.
- If someone is in direct or indirect contact with a downed line, do not touch the person. Call 911 instead.
- Do not try to move a downed power line or anything in contact with it by using another object such as a branch, stick or broom.
- Do not drive over downed lines.
- If you are in your car and it is in contact with a downed line, stay in your car. Honk your horn and ask passersby for help – but tell others to stay away from the vehicle. Call 911 if you have a cell phone.
(From Texas Co-op Power Magazine, a publication of Texas Electric Cooperatives.)