When live electric lines fall on a vehicle, the vehicle can become charged with electricity and pose extreme risks. If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line and you are inside, follow these rules:
If there are no signs of flames or smoke:
- Stay inside the car. Remain calm and make sure not to touch the metal frame of the car. If there are other occupants, inform them to stay inside the car as well. Even one person exiting the car incorrectly poses serious dangers.
- Call 911 for help. If you have no way to call, honk the horn to get others attention outside the vehicle and signal to them to call 911.
- Warn others to stay away. Anyone who comes in contact with the vehicle could be seriously injured.
- Follow directions of first responders. Once responders arrive on scene and assess the situation, follow their instructions. After the electric power is shut off and the area is safe, the vehicle will be safe to exit.
If there are flames or smoke:
- Make certain the vehicle is on fire. Exiting the vehicle is risky and if the vehicle is not on fire, the safest option is to stay inside.
- Exit the vehicle. If the vehicle is on fire, exit quickly and safely. Use the plastic latch of the door and push open touching only the plastic or parts – do not touch the metal frame.
- Compact and rotate your body. Do not step out of the vehicle. Put your legs together, bring them in towards your body, cross your arms then rotate your body so that you are angled to jump out of the vehicle. Do not touch the metal frame anywhere with any part of your body.
- Jump out of the vehicle. Do not allow your feet to come in contact with the ground while sitting in the vehicle. Keeping your legs together and arms folded, carefully jump out of the vehicle landing on both feet at the same time.
- Move away from the vehicle. Once you have landed with both feet on the ground, do not walk or run away as normal. Keep both feet on the ground at all times, shuffling away or hopping away as fast as possible. If hopping, both feet must hit the ground at the same time.
- Call 911. When you are at least 50 feet away from the burning vehicle, call 911. If others approach, warn them to stay away from the area.
If you are a bystander:
- Do not approach the area or the vehicle.
- Make sure you are at least 50 feet away from the area.
- Call 911 and stay on the scene until first responders arrive.