What to Do When You Encounter a Downed Powerline


May is recognized as National Electrical Safety Month, but the mission of ensuring our membership’s safety is a daily responsibility at MTEMC. Educating our members on the dangers associated with energized electrical lines and equipment is important. For example, do you know what to do when a power line is brought down due to a car accident? This can be a very dangerous situation, so please take a look.

If the vehicle is not on fire

In this case, the safest option is to stay away from the vehicle until help arrives. The person in the vehicle should stay inside until instructed to do so by our line crews. If they try to get out or you attempt to assist them and touch the metal or another conductive surface, fatal electrocution could result. Warn them of the danger while standing at least 30 feet away and, of course, call 911.

If the vehicle is on fire

A vehicle fire is the only reason you should advise someone to leave their car when there is a downed power line. Tell them to try to exit the vehicle with no part of their clothes or body touching the ground and vehicle at the same time. Once they have jumped free of the car, they should put their feet together and shuffle or bunny hop with very small steps until they’re 30 feet away. This can reduce the chance of electrical shock. Once they are clear, call 911.

Safety is part of who we are

As you know, our 24/7/365 mission is to provide affordable, reliable, safe electricity and outstanding member service One of the key components of that mission is safety, something MTEMC takes very seriously. With more than 12,000 miles of electric line in four counties, we make it a priority to educate communities about power line safety. You can learn more about safety by visiting MTEMC.com/Safety.

You’ll see why we like to say that safety month is really every month.



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