Downed Power LinesDowned Power Lines

  • As you approach a downed power line, look for the ends of the line. They may be hidden by objects or foliage.
  • Stay clear of anything a downed line may be in contact with, such as fences, vehicles, trees, utility poles and other wires. A downed line can energize these objects.
  • Be alert for multiple hazards. If there is one power line down, there may be others. Don’t let the most obvious hazard distract you from other potential hazards in the area.
  • Maintain a safety perimeter around downed power lines until you receive the all-clear from utility personnel:
    • Keep yourself, your vehicles and equipment and the public at least 30 feet away from downed distribution lines and at least 100 feet away from downed transmission lines.
    • All safety clearances given here are minimums; always use the maximum possible distance.
  • Be extremely cautious when using water to fight fires near downed power lines. Follow the 30/30/100 rule: Stay at least 30 feet away from energized objects, and use a 30-degree fog pattern at 100 psi—NEVER a straight stream.


Overhead Line Safety Vehicle/Utility Pole Accidents