power lines

Downed power line safety


Overhead power lines can carry more than 500,000 volts. Touching one of the lines can provide a path for electricity to the ground and hurt or kill you. Assume all power lines are energized and dangerous.

Stay away from downed power lines

Downed power lines can hurt or kill you, even if they do not spark, hum or "dance." Stay away from anything touching the line, such as a tree, fence, vehicle, etc. Call 911 and We Energies (800-662-4797) to report it. Do not touch someone being shocked by a downed line; you could be hurt or killed.

Watch for downed lines after storms

Downed lines are most common after storms and high winds. If you are outside after a storm, be alert for lines that may be hard to see in streams or puddles.

Shuffle away from downed lines

When moving away from a downed power line, shuffle with your feet close together and on the ground. When a live wire touches the ground, electricity travels through the ground in all directions. Voltage decreases as distance from the wire touching the ground increases. If you run or take large steps, you could conduct electricity from one leg at one voltage to another leg at another voltage, which increases the potential for severe injury or even death. Shuffling is the safest method for moving away from the downed power line.

Stay in vehicle if contacting power lines

If your vehicle contacts a power line, stay inside until rescue workers say it is safe to leave. Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.

If you must leave the car because of fire or other danger, jump away from the vehicle so that you do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away, keeping your feet close together and on the ground.