Severe weather, vehicle accidents and other disasters often leave electric lines and equipment scattered about. It’s important to follow these rules to stay safe:
- Stay away from downed electric power lines and equipment and call Jackson Energy Authority to report.
- Never assume downed lines or equipment is safe because it’s on the ground or not sparking.
- Never assume the wiring on the ground is just telephone, television or fiber optic cable.
- Stay away from hanging electric power lines and equipment as they still have the potential to be energized even if they aren’t touching the ground.
- Remember that electricity can spread outward through the ground in a circular shape and as you move away from the center, large differences in voltages can be created. The ground around power lines - up to 35 feet away - could be energized.
- If you are near downed power lines, the correct way to move away is to shuffle with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times to minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
- Never drive over downed power lines.
- Do not step in water or touch water near downed lines.
- Never touch anything, such as a car, object or equipment, or anyone who is in contact with a downed electric line. Call 911 for help.
- Do not move a downed line or anything else in conctact with it by using a broom, stick or other object. Non-conductive materials like wood or cloth can conduct electricity if slightly wet.
- If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line while you are inside, do not get out of the vehicle unless it’s on fire. Call 911 for help.
- If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line while you are inside and it is on fire, carefully open the door and jump out of the vehicle with both feet together. Avoid any contact with both the car and the ground at the same time. Then shuffle away from the car, with small steps keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times.
- Keep everyone, including pets, away from downed electric lines.