Electricity emergencies

Electricity accidents can produce serious injuries or even death. If you see a downed power line, stay at least 10 metres (33 feet, about the length of a school bus) away and call us at 1-866-436-7847 (24 hours) or 911 immediately. Our crews have the necessary training, equipment and knowledge to deal with the situation safely.

If someone receives an electric shock

  • Do not touch someone who is being shocked with your hands. Touching a person in contact with a source of electricity will cause the electricity to travel from their body into yours. 
  • Call 911 and wait until FortisBC can turn off and isolate the power.
  • Ask someone to call for an ambulance and FortisBC while you stay with the victim.
  • If there is a downed power line, keep people at least 10 metres (33 feet) away.
  • For more information on first aid for electric shock and burns, visit HealthLink BC.

If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident

If you're involved in an accident where poles or wires are knocked down on your vehicle, stay calm, call for help and stay in your car until help arrives, unless it’s unsafe to do so. If another vehicle has a downed wire on it, don’t rush in to help – the surrounding ground may be energized, which could be dangerous.

If you must get out, follow these steps carefully:

  1. Open your door and prepare to jump clear of your vehicle.
  2. Jump out and land on both feet. You must not touch the vehicle and ground at the same time with any part of your body or clothing.
  3. After you land, keep both feet on the ground at all times. Keep calm and shuffle along the ground with feet together until you’re at least 10 metres (33 feet) away from the vehicle. 

If you can, help secure the scene by making sure everyone stays at least 10 metres away from downed power lines, as well as any conductive materials like fences, until FortisBC and emergency crews can get there.