I just did some safety training and would like to share a few highlights. This has to do with safety around power lines.
If you see a downed power line:
- Stay Clear of the area! Don’t touch anything, assume the line and anything touching it is energized.
- Call 9-1-1! The dispatchers will alert appropriate authorities.
- Do not try a rescue! By coming in contact with a person or animal that is energized, you can get hurt as well!
I would say that # 1 & 2 are common sense. While the curiousity can often can get the best of us, I assume most folks have the right instinct to stay away. (Of course, assuming that they realize there is a downed line.). The hard one is the # 3, especially when we see a loved one in trouble. It is a natural instinct to jump in and try and save them, however this can turn tragic: a few months ago 3 members of a family died in their backyard, two of them trying to save the first one.
It is really important to not try a rescue unless we are qualified to do so. While we may have best intentions in mind, we can easily get in trouble ourselves, and not do anything to help.
My recommendation is to do a walk-around your residence, and identify any potential hazards on a clear sunny day when everything is visible. Take note on where the power and gas lines are, and anything else that could turn into a hazard. Then, if there is a wind storm, earthquake or a similar event, you’ll know what areas to avoid until they can be safely inspected.
For more info, check with your local utility.