Safety in The Community
Downed Power Line On Fence
If a power line falls on a fence, stay as far away from the fence as possible. The electricity can travel through a metal fence and produce a shock even though you may not be near the spot where the power line is making contact.
The best place to fly a kite is a wide, open field free from power lines.
Power Lines On Top Of Cars
If a power line falls on your vehicle, STAY INSIDE the vehicle. The rubber tires provide protection against electricity transmission. Rubber is an insulator while people are conductors. Remember – electricity is always aiming to get to the ground. If you step out of your vehicle, the electricity will flow through you and into the ground. Follow the same procedures if you see someone else’s vehicle in this situation. Don’t go near it; instead call 911 for help. Puget Sound Energy, a regulated utility from Washington, developed this video to help keep people safe in this situation. Click here to view the video.
Trees Near Power Lines
Kids of all ages like to climb trees, but never do so on trees near power lines. You might be surprised to learn that wood conducts electricity. If the wind blows a tree limb into a power line, there could be disastrous results. Only climb where there are no power lines nearby. The same goes with planting trees. Consider how big the tree will grow and make sure it won’t interfere with overhead power lines. As a rule of thumb – always call before you dig to ensure there are no underground power lines.
If you’re swimming or even floating along the surface and it starts to storm, exit the water immediately. Lightning could strike and could be fatal. Remember, water and people on their own are excellent conductors of electricity. Blend the two together and you have double the trouble.
Watch for Overhead Power Lines
Always keep your distance from overhead power lines. Each year, construction and farm workers are injured or killed because they have accidentally made contact with high voltage overhead lines. To prevent this, always pre-plan your job. Visit the area where you plan to use large equipment, stack bales, or lay irrigation pipe and check for any overhead wires or electric poles. Then plan the job around them before you start any work. Also, be aware that the law prohibits any work within six feet of lines that carry between 600 and 50,000 volts, and requires a minimum distance of 10 feet when operating boom-type lifting equipment.