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For Emergency Responders
Safety / For Emergency Responders

Safety at the scene is your top priority, and with electricity there are no second chances. The following guidelines can help you ensure public safety, your team's safety, and your own personal safety at the scene.

Keep everyone away from downed power lines, including you

  • Secure the area. Be aware that there may be dangers you can't see such as a line concealed by foliage or a downed line a few spans away
  • Notice any metal objects such as fences and guardrails. They may have become energized from downed power lines
  • A downed line that is not sparking can still be live and cause electrocution
  • Assume that all downed lines, even phone or coaxial cable lines, are energized.These can become energized by a downed power line

Contact Appalachian Power immediately to report a downed wire

  • Only a power company employee or other trained professional can remove a power line. They have the proper equipment and knowledge of proper procedures
  • If a downed wire is in an area served by Appalachian Power your dispatcher should have a special phone number for use only in this type of emergency
  • If the dispatcher does not have the number, contact Appalachian Power's local Community Affairs representative to obtain it
  • Do not provide this phone number to the general public. If customers use it, it may be unavailable for future emergencies

When downed wires are touching a vehicle, it's usually best for the occupant to stay put

  • Wait until power company workers can stabilize the situation
  • If the occupant does need to leave the vehicle, advise them to remove loose items of clothing, put their feet together and jump clear of the vehicle, landing on both feet. Then shuffle or "bunny hop" away from the vehicle

Working with electricity requires specialized tools and equipment

  • Even if a tool or piece of equipment is made of non-conductive material, it may not be a sufficient weight or gauge to protect against electrocution
  • Tiny holes, oil or dirt, or even dampness can eliminate a tool's protective qualities
  • Let the power company employees work around the downed wires. They use materials and equipment that meet the safety requirements

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