If you see a downed power line, never touch it with your hand or any other object, under any circumstances. Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? Yet a simple reminder now could mean survival later.
In fact, you should stay at least 15 yards away from a downed power line or other damaged facility. The voltage on the ground is highest in the immediate area around the electrical source and decreases with distance. Walking over the area can cause a fatal shock.
- If you feel a tingling sensation, stop immediately, place your feet together and shuffle or hop out of the area without touching anything with your hands.
- If you are driving a vehicle that touches a downed power line, you are generally safe as long as you stay in the vehicle. Others are safe as long as they stay back 15 yards.
- If you are able, slowly drive at least 15 yards clear of the downed power line and any pools of water.
- If you are unable to drive the vehicle, stay inside until the electric utility arrives.
- If you must leave the vehicle due to immediate danger (such as a vehicle fire), jump out of the vehicle with your feet together and without touching the car and ground at the same time. Shuffle or hop away to a safe distance, at least 15 yards from the vehicle.