Breaking News
More () »

Tips: Safety around downed power lines

Always assume a power line is live and energized.
Credit: Lakewood Police Department
A storm caused downed trees and power lines at Gravelly Lake Drive SW and Nyanza Road SW in Lakewood on Feb. 23, 2020.

If you see a downed power line, get away from it.

That warning goes out every fall and winter when we have major storms in Western Washington, but it seems every year we hear of at least one person who was electrocuted after touching a power line.

RESOURCES: Utility outage and contact info | Latest forecast | Radar

Here are some tips from power utilities on staying safe around downed lines

– Always assume a power line is live and energized.

– Avoid touching the downed line with your hand or an object, such as a stick, broom or pole.

– Avoid touching anything -- or anyone -- that is in contact with a power line.

– Keep children and pets away from fallen electric lines.

– Avoid driving over a fallen power line.

What do you do if a power line touches your car?

– Stay inside your car. The ground around your car may be energized.

– Sound the horn, roll down your window and call for help.

– Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around your car can be injured.

– Call 911

– Wait until the fire department, police or utility workers tell you it’s safe to get out of your car.

What if you absolutely must get out of your car?

– Remove loose items of clothing.

– Keep your hands at your sides and jump clear of the car with both feet together. Do not touch the car while you are on the ground.

– Keep your feet close together and shuffle away in small steps until you are at least 35 feet away.

Before You Leave, Check This Out