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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Downed Power Lines, Do's & Don'ts

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

In central Illinois, we have storms of all kinds from rain with thunder & lightning, hail, to wind, and everything in between. These can all cause damage in their own right to cars, homes, and anything in their path. Power lines can be particularly vulnerable in the path of a tornado, high winds, or lightning strikes. When power lines are knocked down or loose, this can be extremely dangerous. We have done some research for you to guide you in some do’s and don’ts if you see downed power lines in your path. 


GO AHEAD AND ASSUME. Downed power lines can be deadly. Please go ahead and assume that all downed lines are energized and avoid all contact with them.

KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE. Keeping a MINIMUM of a 30 foot distance (about 3 car lengths) from the downed lines is the first step to staying safe.

SHUFFLE. While moving away from the power lines, you should keep both feet on the ground while moving away from them. Shuffle your feet against the ground without losing contact with the ground and gaining distance between yourself and the downed power lines.

REPORT. Report the lines immediately once you are at a safe distance.

CALL 911. If you see someone injured from a downed power line. 


HANDS TO YOURSELF. Refrain from touching any downed power line. You should assume all downed lines are active and energized. Refrain from touching any other object that is in contact with the downed power line such as guardrails, fences, and cars.

NO POKING. Although you may have learned in science class which materials are conductive, however, do not use even these types of materials to move or relocate a downed power line. 

NO RUNNING. When moving away from downed power lines, do not allow your feet to lose contact with the ground, instead, shuffle your feet against the ground until you are a safe distance from the downed power lines.

DON’T BECOME A VICTIM. Do not try to rescue an individual that has been injured from touching a power line. The electrical current can travel through them to you and you risk becoming a victim yourself.

As always, if disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Springfield, Sangamon, Morgan, Cass, and Montgomery counties is always here for you. We can be reached 24/7 at 217-528-7775.

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