Downed Power Lines

  • Secure the area. Keep yourself and the public at least 30 feet away from fallen power lines. Fallen transmission lines from large towers require 100 feet of clearance.
  • Stay clear of all downed lines and anything they are contacting, including nearby fences, trees, cable or phone lines, and the ground.
  • Be extremely cautious when using water to fight fires near downed power lines. If you must use water, use only a mist or spray. Do not use a stream—it can create a clear path for current.

SCENARIO: Captain Electrocuted by Downed Line

A 36-year-old fire captain was fatally shocked when he brushed against a fallen 12,000-volt power line while fighting a predawn house fire. The line had fallen into a nearby pine tree and was dangling just above the ground.