Sentinel Handbook

Tips for security, safety, and crime prevention volunteers

Archive for July 2013

Downed Power Lines

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Downed power lines happen for many reasons, and though they are designed to de-energize when they come down, that very often isn’t the case. Consider all wires ENERGIZED and dangerous!

Even lines that are de-energized may suddenly and unexpectedly become energized!
What to do when you find downed power lines:

  • Immediately call 911. If safe to do so, approach the nearest pole and give the operator the Pole Number posted on it.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from wires and poles.
  • Electricity can travel through the ground, and harm you even if you’re not standing close.
  • Electricity can travel through tree limbs and other objects, so do not touch or attempt to clear anything touching wires.
  • Never use any object to move a downed wire.
  • Rubber and insulated gloves offer no protection from high voltage electricity.
  • Rubber-soled, or insulated boots do not offer any protection.
  • If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don’t try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Again call 911!

If a broken power line should fall on your vehicle:

  • Stay inside the vehicle until help arrives, as your car may be energized.
  • Warn others not to touch the vehicle and have them call for help.
  • If you must leave the vehicle, jump as far away as possible with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. DO NOT touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.

I know, it can be very frustrating and difficult when you come across a situation where people are trapped and in danger, but you must not become a victim yourself. Stay calm, keep trapped victims and other bystanders safe by encouraging them to stay put and out of harm’s way.


Written by Silver Sentinel

July 7, 2013 at 3:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized