Arriving on the Scene

Keep ladders and equipment at least 10 feet from power lineWhen you arrive at the scene of a fire involving electrical equipment, be sure your dispatcher has notified the local electric utility. Work with them in a unified command structure, and follow these precautions:

  • Approach the scene cautiously after surveying from a safe distance. Look for electrical hazards, such as leaning utility poles and downed power lines. Mark any hazards with cones or barrier tape.
  • Consider all wires and equipment energized and dangerous (regardless of its size, type and insulation) unless you are otherwise notified.
  • Keep all personnel, vehicles, tools, ladders and aerial equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines carrying up to 50,000 volts and farther away for higher voltages. Confirm line voltages and safety clearances with the local electric utility.
  • Keep in mind that wind can move lines and equipment. Use a spotter to help you maintain the maximum possible clearance.