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Emergency response sites may contain numerous chemical safety hazards. But if you’re aware that other hazards like downed power lines and cables are not dead, you’re on the right track!

Still hot!

Overhead power lines and downed electrical wires all pose the danger of shock or electrocution if you come into contact with them. Always consider all equipment lines and conductors to be energized.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe:

  1. Watch your back. Be cautious if you notice downed wires or damaged electrical equipment. Contact your supervisor and appropriate utility personnel if you think you may be in contact to live electricity.
  2. Hide when necessary. Do NOT assume that downed conductors are safe simply because they don’t emit sparks. Even if they don’t spark or hum, fallen power lines can kill you. Find a safe location and stay as far away from them as possible.
  3. Fear the dead, too. Lines and conductors in contact with other lines may be energized or may become re-energized without warning as the utility company restores them. Be aware of wires that were not energized when you arrived on site, they may be live!