Safety & Security

What to do if you encounter a downed power line

Stay safe with these tips

Downed power lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or death.

Downed power lines

Know what to do should you encounter one:

On foot

  • If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it.
  • The proper way to move away from a downed line is to shuffle with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
  • If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with a downed line, do not touch the person. Call 911 instead.
  • Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the line by using another object.


In your car

  • Stay in the car if you can. Be careful not to put your feet near water where a downed power line is located.
  • Do not drive over downed lines.
  • If you are in a vehicle that is in contact with a downed line, stay in the vehicle. Honk your horn for help and tell nonemergency personnel to stay away from your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle becomes unsafe and you must leave, jump out with both feet together and avoid making contact with the energized vehicle and the ground at the same time.


If you see a downed line, call our emergency line immediately: 888-883-3379. If you think you or anyone else may be in danger, call 911.