Avoid Touch and Step Potential

To avoid touch potential, never touch anyone or anything that may be in contact with a source of electricity. If you do, you will become a victim as well. Wait until the electricity is turned off before attempting a rescue.

Do not touch downed power lines or anything they are touching, which may include:

  • Phone or cable lines
  • Utility poles
  • Vehicles
  • Metal fences
  • Ladders
  • Trees
  • The ground

To avoid step potential near an energized, grounded object, take small shuffling steps. Do not lift your feet off the ground, and do not let your heels pass your toes. Shuffle by sliding your feet on the ground in a heel to toe motion, and do not allow any distance between your two feet. Keeping your feet low and close together ensures that the voltage remains the same between them, minimizing the electrical potential.