Storms, accidents and other events can cause power lines to hit the ground, creating a very dangerous situation for anyone nearby.
Here’s what every member of your family needs to know about electric shocks:
• If someone comes into contact with electricity, do not touch that person or anything the person is touching. Instead, call 911.
• If the source of electricity is an appliance, grab the plug—not the cord—and pull it out of the outlet. If you cannot safely remove the plug, turn off the power at the fuse or circuit breaker.
• If a power line falls on your car, do not get out of the car. You are safer inside an enclosed vehicle because its metal shell conducts electricity, protecting the car’s occupants.
• If an electric wire falls on your car and there’s a risk of fire, take these steps to safely exit the vehicle:
- Open the door, but do not step out of the car yet.
- Make sure that you jump completely free of the vehicle with both feet together, avoiding contact with the car and the ground at the same time.
- Remember, once you jump from a car with a power line on it, the danger may not be over. Electricity can spread out through the ground in a circle from any downed line. Hop or shuffle (keeping both feet on the ground at all times) as far away as possible from the vehicle.
- Do not try to help someone else from the car while you’re standing on the ground. If you do, you will become a path for electricity and could be injured.
• When a wire falls to the ground, it may still be live, even if you don’t see sparks. Call 911 and your electric cooperative if you see a downed wire. Warn others to keep their distance.
• Wood is a poor conductor of electricity, but it is still a conductor, especially when wet. Do not use a wooden ladder—or any other type—near a power line. If a ladder begins to fall into a power line, don’t grab it. Let it fall and call us.
• Don’t try to handle electric emergencies at home, even if you’re wearing rubber gloves or shoes.