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Don’t be shocked – know how to stay safe around downed wires

We were lucky. January’s nor’easter resulted in minor damage compared to those in years past, and we’re relieved that none of our customers nor employees were injured during the storm. However, the threat of downed wires during any high wind event is still imminent and can pose life-threatening danger.

If you  see a downed wire in the aftermath of a storm, or are involved in an accident and a live wire falls on your car, do you know what to do?

If you see a downed wire:jan-2017-storm-3

  • Assume all downed wires are “live,” and still energized. Don’t touch any of the wires, including telephone and cable TV wires, which may be entangled with electric wires and must also be treated as live. Stay back at least 300 feet away (two pole spans).
  • Report the downed wire immediately. Call  911 or PSEG Long Island at 800-490-0075.
  • Never use water on an electric fire or wire.
  • Don’t touch another person who may have come into contact with a live wire, as it creates a path through which electricity can travel. Call 911 for help immediately.

    If a wire falls on your car: 

  • Call 911, and stay in your car until help arrives and the power is shut off by PSEG Long Island.
  • Only get out of your car if it is absolutely necessary due to fire or some other situation.  If you must get out because your car is on fire, jump as far away as possible with both feet together. Do not touch or lean back against the car. Do not jump out near the wires.  Once you clear the vehicle, shuffle or hop away with both feet on the ground at the same time. Taking regular steps with your feet separated can lead to shock or electrocution
  • Never run away from the car. Electricity forms rings of different voltages. Running may cause your legs to “bridge” current from a higher ring to a lower voltage ring.
  • If you’ve left the car, do not lean back, shut the car door or reach back for another occupant. If the car is energized, touching it could create a path to the ground for the electricity to flow.

Although we can’t prevent accidents from happening, we can make sure you know what to do in an emergency. These tips could save your life. For additional safety tips and more, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Ted Kern, Safety & Compliance Manager

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