Downed Power Line Safety
Always use extreme caution near downed power lines and wires. For your own safety, assume that they are live and carrying electricity.
Downed power lines and wires caused by a storm or motor vehicle accident creates danger for anyone who approaches. Keep everyone away and report it to us at 1-800-867-5222 or 9-1-1 immediately. If you see a downed power line:
Always assume power lines are live
- Even if a line isn’t sparking or humming, it may be live.
- If you see a downed wire, keep a distance of at least 30 feet and call 9-1-1 to report it.
- Downed trees could have wires caught in them and wood can conduct electricity when wet. Avoid coming in contact with branches or trees if they have fallen. If you are unsure if a wire caught in a tree is an electric wire, contact National Grid at 1-800-867-5222.
- Water is a natural conductor of electricity and a downed line in a puddle or flooded area can electrify it, creating a deadly hazard. Even non-conducting materials like cloth or wood can conduct electricity when wet.
- Never touch a person in contact with a downed wire because human bodies can conduct electricity, which means the electricity will be passed on to you.
Driving near downed wires
- NEVER drive over downed wires. If you are driving in an area with downed trees or utility poles, slow down, scan the road and stay away from any debris that may be caught in a downed wire.
- If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed wire, STAY INSIDE! Call 9-1-1 to request assistance and if someone approaches your car, roll down your window and ask them to keep their distance.
- If your vehicle is on fire and you suspect a downed power line is nearby, exit the vehicle quickly by opening the door and jumping out with both feet together while avoiding contact with its frame and the power line. Move as quickly as possible away from the car by keeping both feet on the ground at all times and shuffling your feet.
- Repairing downed power lines can be dangerous work, so please drive carefully when you spot our repair crews on the road.
Safety should be your first priority when you see a downed wire. Call 9-1-1 or National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 to report it immediately and keep yourself and others away from the scene.