Committed to Customer Safety: PG&E Provides New Safety Information about Downed Powerlines in Emergency Situations
Some Simple Tips Can Help Save Lives in a Crisis
“It’s very unusual for a powerline to make contact with a vehicle, but should that occur, we want our customers to be prepared with the knowledge that can save their lives,” said
If you see a downed powerline:
- If you see a low-hanging or downed powerline, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous.
- Keep yourself and others away, and do not touch or try to move a downed line. Be sure to remain a minimumof 30 feet away on a dry surface and 60 feet away on a wet surface.
Report downed powerlines immediately by calling 911 and by calling
If you are evacuating due to an emergency, and downed powerlines are blocking your path:
- Always seek a safe route that does not have downed powerlines.
- If there is no evacuation route clear of powerlines and you have no other choice, drive slowly over the powerlines to prevent the lines from becoming tangled with your vehicle. Stay inside the vehicle at all times.
- If powerlines become entangled with the vehicle, stop, call 9-11 and remain inside the vehicle until first responders arrive on-site and provide direction
If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed powerline:
- Stay inside! The safest place is in your car. The ground around your car may be energized.
- Honk the horn, roll down your window and yell for help.
- Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around the vehicle may be injured.
- Use your mobile phone to call 911.
Fire department, police and
PG&Eworkers will tell you when it is safe to get out of the vehicle.
If there is a fire and you must exit a vehicle that has come in contact with downed powerlines:
- Remove loose items of clothing.
- Cross your arms across your chest and jump clear of the vehicle, so you are not touching the car when your feet hit the ground.
- Once outside the vehicle, do not touch the car.
- Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.
- Shuffle at least 30 feet away on a dry surface and 60 feet away from the line on a wet surface.
Additional driving tips:
- Traffic Signals: If traffic signals are out or flashing red, come to a full stop at every intersection, and proceed as you would at a four-way stop.
Keep emergency gear in your car when you’re traveling, including:
- Cell phone
- Jumper cables
- Warning devices (such as flares or reflectors)
Learn more at safetyactioncenter.pge.com.