Sam Houston Electric Blog

Power Line Safety Tips

Friday, March 10, 2017

Power Line Safety Tips

Here’s a fact you might not know: You don’t have to touch a power line to be in danger; high-voltage electricity can jump to anyone who gets too close. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay safe around power lines, whether they’re in the air or on the ground.

Look up before raising a ladder or pole to make sure that it will not come within 10 feet of any power lines. Use wooden or fiberglass ladders outdoors. Metal ladders conduct electricity.

Contact Sam Houston Electric Cooperative immediately to report downed power lines, which can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or even death. Electricity tends to move from a high-voltage zone to a low-voltage zone—and it could make that journey through your body.

You should assume that all downed power lines are live. You cannot tell just by looking at a power line whether it is energized. Move at least 10 feet away from it and any nearby object it is touching, such as a fence or a tree limb. The ground around power lines also might be energized.

The proper way to move away from a downed line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for an electric shock.

If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with a downed line, do not touch the person—or you could become the next victim. Call 911 and Sam Houston EC for help.

Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything else in contact with it by using an object such as a broom or stick. Nonconductive materials including wood or cloth can conduct electricity if even slightly wet.

Be careful not to touch or step in water near a downed power line.

Do not drive over downed power lines. If your car comes into contact with a downed power line while you are inside, stay in the car. Honk your horn to summon help, but warn others to stay away from your car. If you must leave your car because it is on fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid simultaneous contact with both the car and the ground. Shuffle away from the car. 


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