The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


How to stay safe around downed power lines

February 14, 2022 | Jodi Baker | safety, tips
safety 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.

Below is a video of an energized, downed wire.

Video clip of live wires down

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 writes stories and shoots videos for The Wire. Jodi was a television news reporter before she came to work for OPPD as a media specialist in 2013. Jodi earned her degree in broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She's worked for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to sunny San Diego. She’s married with two bright and energetic children (a boy and a girl) and an allergy-ridden little Cairn Terrier. She and her husband enjoy catching up on some grown-up DVR time once the kiddos are asleep.

View all posts by Jodi Baker >

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