Springfield, Sept. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unfortunately, accidents involving live power lines happen and they can be deadly:
- On September 7, an East Peoria (Illinois) man was electrocuted while working from a tree-trimming bucket truck.
- On September 19, two people were killed and two were critically injured in Ontario after power line contact in three separate incidents.
- In August, a school bus driver in western Pennsylvania was electrocuted trying to escape his burning bus, which had struck a utility pole.
Safe Electricity urges everyone to stay safe around power lines:
Trees and power lines — Be mindful of power line locations prior to starting an outdoor chore such as trimming trees, clearing gutters, cleaning a pool, or carrying an extension ladder. Never trim trees or limbs close to power lines; instead, hire an OSHA-certified line clearance worker. In addition, parents and caregivers should check for power lines before letting children climb trees or prior to any other outdoor activing such as flying a kite or operating a remote control plane, drone or other airborne device.
Car accidents involving downed power lines — If you have been in an accident that has caused a downed power line, do not get out of your car and warn others to stay away. Call 9-1-1 and do not leave your vehicle until utility personnel have arrived and de-energized the power. If you must exit your vehicle due to smoke or fire, hop out of the car (without touching the car) so that you land firmly with both feet touching the ground. Then hop away to safety. If you walk in a usual step-by-step fashion, the electrical current that has escaped to the ground can electrocute you because you will most likely step into two different voltages. By hopping, you keep yourself in one voltage at all times, which can prevent the electrical current from passing through your body.
“Take the time to become aware of your surroundings,” recommends Molly Hall, executive director of Safe Electricity. “It is a critical step to keeping you and your loved ones safe. Contact with power lines can be deadly.”
Safe Electricity offers these outdoor safety guidelines:
- Never climb trees near power lines. Even if the power lines are not touching the tree, they could come in contact when more weight is added to the branch.
- Always be aware of the location of power lines, particularly when using long tools like ladders, pool skimmers, and pruning poles. Be sure to lower your long equipment when you are moving it. Carry ladders and other long items horizontally whenever possible. If your long tool makes contact with a power line, it becomes an electrical conductor and you could get electrocuted.
- Be careful when working on or around your roof to install antennas and satellite dishes, to install or clean gutters, or to do repair work. Never go up on the roof in windy or bad weather or when the roof is wet or icy.
- Be especially careful when working near power lines attached to your house. Keep equipment and yourself at least 10 feet from lines.
- Never use water or blower extensions to clean gutters near electric lines. Contact a professional maintenance contractor.
- Do not trim trees near power lines. Professional tree trimmers (or anyone trimming trees) should not trim within 10 feet of power lines and equipment unless they are an OSHA-certified line clearance tree trimmer.
For more information on electrical safety, including staying safe around power lines, visit www.SafeElectricity.org.