Avoid Downed Wires After a Storm

Avoid Downed Wires After a Storm
As the seasons change, the weather can fluctuate wildly. Depending on where you live, you may have already experienced quite a few nasty storms. When the wind is whipping, power lines can become damaged and fall to the ground. However, this can be extremely dangerous. Everyone should take care to avoid downed wires after a storm.

Dangers of Downed Wires After a Storm

First and foremost, water and electricity are a deadly pair. As always, it pays to know about this risk. We’ve written about what to do when there is an electrical current in water and the dangers of electric shock drowning in the past. In general, it’s important to stay away from electrified water whenever possible.

Usual Causes of Electrified Water

Though there are lots of potential causes for electrified water, here are just a few:

  • Poorly wired lights or equipment near the pool
  • Improper grounds or bonds by water
  • Damaged wiring or downed wires after a storm

Today, we’re focusing on downed wires after a storm today. As we mentioned above, storms can be brutal and play havoc with power lines. It is a common occurrence to see a downed power line. Typically, these carry a strong current of electricity. This is often enough to injure or even kill a person.

It is still a good idea to give downed wires after a storm a wide berth, even if they seem harmless. In the next section, we’ll discuss some basic safety tips to help people avoid danger.

Safety is the Best Option

When it comes to downed wires, always assume the worst. Believe it or not, downed lines, whether after a storm or not, can electrocute a person or animal up to 35 feet away. When the ground is wet, it can be even worse.

Keeping this in mind, a person should never try to move a downed power line. It may be seem like the right move for safety, but this simply isn’t the case. Remember, the risk of shock extends farther than you may realize. The best bet is to stay as far away as possible.

Driving Danger

Many of us have heard that a safe place to be during a storm is inside a car. The rubber tires are grounded, and can prevent potential electrocution from lightning. This is partially true, but it’s still best to avoid the electricity altogether. The car is safer, but not safe.

Above all, don’t drive over downed power lines or any puddles that are visibly in contact with them. As with being on foot, the best way to deal with downed wires after a storm is to avoid them entirely.

What to Do?

Now that we know that the best way to stay safe is to stay away, what can be done about downed wires when you do encounter them? Well, the best advice is to reach out for professional help. Call 9-1-1 to let the emergency services know. If you see a person wandering too close to the wires, be sure to warn them to stay at least 35 feet away. Above all, keep yourself out of harm’s way.

To learn more, the Electrical Safety Foundation International has even more information you can use.