Stay Safe when a Power Line Is Down
Be aware of hazards presented by downed power lines.
Never touch a fallen power line.
Never touch anything or anyone in contact with a power line. You could be shocked by contact with the line or a secondary object or person. When a live wire touches the ground, electricity fans out through the ground, similar to when a pebble hits water. You could be shocked when in the area of a downed power line.
- Consider all wires energized and dangerous. Even de-energized lines may become energized at any time.
- Stay at least 10 feet away from downed lines.
- Electricity can travel through the ground. Therefore, a live wire touching the ground can harm you even if you don't directly touch the line.
- Electricity can also travel through tree limbs. Never remove tree limbs or other items touching or near a downed wire. Call Austin Energy at (512) 322-9100 to report the tree limb.
- Never use any object to move a downed wire.
- Do not be lulled into a false sense of security because you are wearing rubber gloves or rubber-soled shoes. These items will not protect you from electrocution.
- If someone makes contact with a downed power line, do not try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911.
Reporting a Fallen Power Line
Call Austin Energy at (512) 322-9100 and report the location of the line.
When a Vehicle Comes in Contact with a Power Line
If a broken power line falls on your vehicle and you cannot safely drive away:
- Warn others not to touch the vehicle. Ask them to call 911 for help.
- Wait inside the vehicle until emergency personnel arrive because your car may be energized.
- If you must leave the vehicle because of fire or other danger, jump as far away from the vehicle 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.
- After exiting the vehicle, donít run. Hop away keeping your feet together. Separating your feet can create two contact points with the ground and can result in a shock if the ground is energized by a fallen wire.
If you observe a fallen power line on a vehicle:
- If someone is in the vehicle, call 911.
- Call Austin Energy at (512) 322-9100 and report the location of the line.
- Do not approach or make contact with the person or vehicle. Wait for emergency personnel.