Stay safe around downed power lines

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes power lines can end up on the ground. If a car crashes into a pole, or if a tree falls onto power lines, the lines can break and fall down.

By knowing what to do in emergencies such as this, you can keep yourself and others safe.

If you come across power lines that have fallen to the ground you should:

  • Stay well away from them and warn others to stay away too because the ground around the downed lines might be electrified.
  • Call our fault line on 0800 508 100 to tell us where the downed lines are located.

We will get someone there as quickly as possible to make the lines safe and repair them.

The only people who should ever come near downed power lines are our experienced and trained line mechanics. They know the danger and they will only approach downed lines if they are sure it’s safe to do so.

What do you do if a power line comes down on a car you’re in?

If you are in a car and the lines come down on top of your car you should:

  • Stay in the car.
  • Tell anyone who comes near to keep away too because the ground around the car might be electrified by the lines.
  • Stay in the car until one of our line mechanics tells you it’s safe to get out.

There are certain circumstances when staying in the car might not be safe e.g. if a fire starts in the car.

If it is not safe to stay in the car and you have to get out you should:

  • Jump from the open door of the car so that you are not touching the car and the ground at the same time (touching the ground and the car at the same time could give you a potentially fatal electric shock).
  • Stay on your feet and either shuffle or hop away from the car, keeping your feet close together until you are at least 10 metres or more away from the car.  This might look a bit strange when you are doing it, but it could save your life because electricity can flow up one leg and down the other if you take a normal-sized step on electrified ground.