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Electrical emergencies

Electrical accidents can produce serious injuries or even death. If you see a downed power line, call 911 or contact FortisBC immediately. Our crews have the necessary training, equipment and knowledge to deal with the situation safely.

If someone receives an electrical shock:

  • Do not touch the person if she or he is still in contact with the source of electricity (the electricity will travel from their body into yours)!
  • If there is a downed power line, keep people at least 10 metres (33 feet) away.
  • Ask someone to call an ambulance and FortisBC while you stay with the victim.
  • If the victim has no pulse, perform CPR.
  • If the victim has been burned, avoid touching those areas or any burned clothing. You may gently apply cold water to burned areas until professional help arrives.

A motor vehicle incident:

  • If you're involved in an accident where poles or wires are knocked down on a vehicle, it's important to know what to do. Remain calm, stay in your vehicle, and wait until help arrives. The surrounding ground may become energized, so don't rush toward a vehicle to try to help, or you could end up in trouble too. If you must exit - jump clear of the vehicle with both feet landing on the ground together. Once you're out of the vehicle, DO NOT take steps or touch the vehicle. Shuffle your feet keeping both on the ground at all times.
  • Do not touch someone that is being shocked.Call 911 and wait until FortisBC can turn off and isolate the power.
  • Make sure to stay at least 30 feet away from a downed power line. Watch out for conductive materials like fences. Try to secure the area by staying at least 30 feet away until FortisBC crews can get there.