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If a power line fell on your vehicle, would you know what to do?

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by Amy Bunton
November 30, 2016

Safety, Electricity



You may not know that our power line technicians are often among the first responders at emergency situations that involve electricity. For these crews, the worst case scenario is responding to an accident where someone is hurt or in danger of being hurt by electricity.

During his 26 years with FortisBC, Operations Manager Shawn has responded to some dangerous and even life threatening situations involving live power lines that have fallen on vehicles containing passengers.

“It is important to know that if a live wire falls across your car, you could become a path for electricity if you get out and touch the ground,” explains Shawn. “If you ever find yourself in this situation, it is crucial to know what to do, until utility crews arrive to help.”

  • Do your best to remain calm.
  • Stay in your vehicle and call for help.
  • Wait until a qualified utility worker arrives and confirms it is safe to exit.
  • Tell others to stay away from the vehicle.
  • If you must exit the vehicle, due to fire, jump clear of the vehicle with both feet landing on the ground at the same time.
  • Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • Once you are out of the vehicle, continue to hop away with both feet together or shuffle your feet, keeping both feet on the ground at all times. DO NOT take steps or touch the vehicle.
  • Stay at least 10 metres (33 feet) away from the scene until utility crews confirm it’s safe to approach.

Power lines mainly fall from unpreventable or uncontrollable damage, like that of a motor vehicle accident or storm.

Learn more about power line safety