Downed Power Lines – Safety Tips

Downed Power Lines – BC Hydro says, If it’s down, it’s a danger. Stay back and dial 911.”

If you come across downed power lines or cables, always assume that they are live and dangerous. Always stay back a safe distance from downed electrical wires; at least 10 metres (33 feet).

There are several live wire safety precautions you should take whenever you come across downed power lines.

In this blog post, our Abbotsford electricians discuss a few power line safety tips including Low Voltage and High Voltage wires.

What do you need to do to keep you and others safe?

Remember, if you come across someone who is in contact with downed electrical wires Do Not attempt to touch them while they are still in contact with the wires. Electrocution is a physiological reaction to electricity being passed through the body.

Touching someone that is in contact with a live electrical wire could pass the current on to you.

Follow These 4 Steps for LOW Voltage Contact Situations

  1. If you can do so safely, switch off the low voltage power to the device or downed wiring.
  2. If you’re unable to shut off the low voltage power, use a non-conducting item such as a wooden broom handle, board, or length of rope to remove the electrical wire from the other person.
  3. Once separating the person from the low voltage source, be sure to move them a safe distance away from the live wire.
  4. Check to ensure the person is still breathing and that they have a heartbeat. Call 911 if needed. If they are not breathing, provide mouth to mouth resuscitation and perform CPR to the best of your ability.

If the low voltage wire doesn’t require BC Hydro, you can contact our electrical contractors to assess and rectify the situation.

Follow These 5 Steps for HIGH Voltage Contact Situations

  1. If the person has come into contact with outdoor high voltage wires, call 911 immediately.
    Keep live wire safety in mind…do not attempt to remove the electrical wire or approach the person.
  2. Stay at least 10 meters (33 feet) away from any high voltage wires that may be laying on the ground.
  3. Besides dialling 911, you can also text “Hydro” (49376) and give BC Hydro your location and describe the situation.
  4. Wait for the fire department, police, ambulance, or the BC Hydro company to arrive.
  5. Provide BC Hydro and other emergency services with all the details you can about the incident.

Electricity in the form of downed electrical wires can be very dangerous. Take the recommended steps with extreme caution. Do not attempt to do anything you are not comfortable with or you are unsure about.

Who to Contact for Downed Power Lines

For more information on live wire safety, see this BC Hydro page.

Stay safe – call 911 and/or BC Hydro at 1-800-BC-Hydro (224-9376).

Here are two other safety related posts by Premium Electric:

About Premium Electric

Premium Electric is locally owned and operated and our Abbotsford electricians offer electrical services throughout the Fraser Valley.

Give us a shout if you require a Fraser Valley electrician in Abbotsford or the surrounding communities of LangleySurrey, ChilliwackMaple Ridge, or Mission. We also service clients in Burnaby and Poco/ Coquitlam.

Please call us at 1-604-308-6195 or send us an email if you need an electrician or for more information about downed power lines.


You might also like our article entitled,
5 Things You Need to Do In An Electrical Emergency.

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