The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


How to stay safe around downed power lines

January 31, 2024 | Jodi Baker | safety, tips
This tips can help you stay safe around downed power lines.

Would you know what to do if you came across downed power lines? OPPD’s number one priority is safety – for our customers and our employees. With that in mind, use these tips for safety around downed power lines.

Off limits

NEVER touch a downed power line or go near one. Always assume the  line is live and high voltage.

  • Do not touch a fallen power line or anything touching the wire. This includes other people or equipment.
  • Keep children and pets away from fallen electric wires.
  • Do not drive over a fallen power line.
  • Call OPPD at 1-800-554-6773 or 911 immediately to report a fallen power line.

In your vehicle

If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line: 

  • Stay inside! The safest place is in your car. Remember, 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 OPPD at 1-800-554-6773 or 911.
  • OPPD workers will tell you when it is safe to exit your vehicle.

Vehicle fire

If there is a fire and you MUST exit a vehicle that has come in contact with downed power lines: 

  • Remove loose items of clothing.
  • Keep your elbows at your side, clasp hands, and jump clear of the vehicle, so you are not touching the car when your  feet hit the ground.
  • Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.
  • Once you are at least 35 feet away, dial 911 and provide your exact location.
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About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker contributes stories to The Wire in addition to serving as a media liaison for OPPD. She was a reporter, working for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to San Diego, prior to joining the utility in 2013. Jodi has a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, with a minor in Criminal Justice. She’s married with two older children and two younger dogs – Shi Tzu mixes. She loves watching her daughter’s track meets, going to concerts with her husband Dave, who used to co-host a local music video program, and traveling whenever possible.

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