Downed Power Line - Is It Hot?

Tuesday July 9, 2024

Always assume that a downed or low-hanging wire is an energized – or HOT – electric wire. It may look like something as simple as a fallen phone cable, but why take the chance that the wire could be in contact with a HOT power line still on the pole?

Here are some additional tips to help keep you and your family safe in the event you come across a fallen or low-hanging wire:

  • Report it immediately to BTES and the local authorities.
  • Stay away from wires and anything that may be touching them. Keep others away from them, too.
  • Do not touch someone who is in contact with a fallen or low-hanging wire.
  • Do not try to move a fallen wire or anything in contact with it by using a pole, broom stick, or any other object. Even materials that don’t normally conduct electricity may do so if even slightly wet.
  • Be careful that you do not walk on wet ground or step into water where a downed wire is located.
  • If you are in a vehicle that is in contact with a wire, stay inside until a BTES employee tells you the wire is no longer energized, and it is okay to leave the vehicle. If you must leave the vehicle in the event of a fire, use a “kangaroo” type leap, with your feet together, so you do not have one foot in the vehicle and one foot on the ground at the same time.
  • Never drive over or under fallen wires or low-hanging wires.

Always remember to ask yourself, “Is it hot, or is it not?” And always answer with HOT! It is better to play it safe than take the risk of being seriously injured.

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