CFD: Downed Power Lines Safety

Posted: Updated:
Power line laying across the road (Photo courtesy CFD) Power line laying across the road (Photo courtesy CFD)

The Charlottesville Fire Department (CFD) is reminding people to stay far away from downed power lines as we head into a week of potential stormy weather.

If you see a downed line, stay at least 30-feet away, and report it to Dominion Energy or the police immediately.

Firefighters say downed wires are likely still live and could seriously injure you.

If you see someone injured from a power line, do not get close to them because you could become a victim yourself.

"If you see someone that has come in contact with a power line, call 911. You don't want to go up and try to rescue them, because they could still be energized by the power line that is on them or next to them," said Assistant Fire Marshal Captain Jonathan Williams.

If you are in a vehicle and a line falls on top of it, do not try to get out, call the fire department to handle the situation.

05/14/2018 Release from the Charlottesville Fire Department:

Charlottesville VA- the Charlottesville Fire Department reminds citizens that severe thunder storms are now possible in the area. These storms can bring strong winds this can bring down trees and power lines.

Citizens should observe the following safety tips during and after a severe storm hits our area.

Be aware of hazards presented by downed power lines.

  • Consider all wires ENERGIZED and dangerous. Even lines that are de-energized may become energized at any time.
  • Stay at least 35 feet away from any wires on the ground because electricity can travel through the ground.
  • If you do find yourself near a line move away from the line. The proper way to move away is to shuffle with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock. Electricity wants to move from a high voltage zone to a low voltage zone and it could do that through your body.
  • Never touch downed power lines or use any object to move power lines, including brooms, boards, limbs or plastic materials. Although wood is non-conductive, if even slightly wet it will conduct electricity, causing electric shock or electrocution. Power lines can also slide down such objects when lifted.

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. Then shuffle walk away from the vehicle for at least 30 feet.

If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don't try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 immediately.

For more information on downed power line safety go to http://www.esfi.org/resource/downed-power- line-safety- downed-and- dangerous-519