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Downed Power Lines

Stay far away from downed lines:

  • Even if they don't hum, spark, or "dance," downed lines can be dangerous.

  • If you see one, carefully move away from the line and anything it is touching. Instruct others in the area to do the same.

  • Call 911 and the electric company to report the line.

  • Downed lines are most common after storms and high winds. If you are outside after a storm, be alert for lines that may be obscured by streams or standing water.

Shuffle, don't run, from a downed line.

The correct technique for moving away from a downed line is to shuffle with your feet together and on the ground. Fight the urge to run, and warn others not to run. This is because when a live wire touches the ground, electricity travels through the ground in all directions. Voltage decreases as it travels from the center where the live wire is touching the ground. If you run or take large steps, you increase the chance that electricity could come up one leg and go out the other, and you could be shocked.

If a line is downed near you, shuffle away with small steps so you don't get shocked. Warn others to do the same.

  

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