Power lines bring electricity from generating plants to our communities and into our homes. They are a vital part of the electrical transmission and distribution system. They can also be dangerous.
There are reports of lines down in Alabama as the result of strong thunderstorms and suspected tornadoes that have passed through the state. It’s a good time to review what to do to stay safe around lines.
Here are some basic rules about power line safety:
- Never climb power poles or transmission towers. A typical overhead distribution line has 7,200 volts per wire. Voltages on major transmission lines are as high as 500,000 volts. Both can deliver a deadly shock.
- Never climb trees near power lines. The human body is an excellent conductor of electricity and you could become its path from the lines to the ground.
- Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume a downed power line is live and life-threatening. Keep children and pets away from downed lines. Do not attempt to remove a person or animal caught in power lines. Call 911 for help. Do not attempt to remove tree limbs or any other object from a downed line.
- If you see a downed line, call Alabama Power at 1-800-888-2726 or your police or fire department to have the downed line barricaded until it can be repaired. Warn others to stay away.
- Never drive over a downed line or under a low-hanging line. Beware of downed lines touching a vehicle. Stay away from the vehicle and the line. If a power line hits your car while you’re inside, stay put and wait for help. If the car catches fire, then jump clear without touching metal and the ground at the same time. Shuffle away keeping both feet on the ground.
Keep ladders, antennas, kites and poles away from power lines. Weatherproofing on overhead wiring is not insulation. If you are holding any of these items and they come into contact with a power line, you could receive an electrical shock.