What to Do If You See a Downed Power Line

Downed power lines are dangerous. Stay away. Don't Touch. Call 911.

What to Do If You See a Downed Power Line

Never, ever touch a downed power line or go near one. Power lines are not insulated like power cords. Always assume the power line is live.

  • Don't touch a fallen power line or anything touching the wire.
  • Do not touch anything or anyone in contact with a fallen power line or other equipment.
  • Keep children and pets away from fallen electric wires.
  • Do not drive over a fallen power line.
  • Call 911 immediately to report a fallen power line.

What to Do If a Power Line Touches Your Car

If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line:

  • Stay inside! The safest place is in your car. The ground around your car may be energized.
  • Honk the horn, roll down your window and yell for help.
  • Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around the vehicle may be injured.
  • Use your mobile phone to call 911.
  • Fire department, police and PG&E workers will tell you when it is safe to get out of the vehicle.

If there is a fire and you have to exit a vehicle that has come in contact with downed power lines:

  • Remove loose items of clothing.
  • Keep your hands at your sides and jump clear of the vehicle, so you are not touching the car when your feet hit the ground.
  • Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.

How to Stay Safe Using Metallic Balloons

"Look Up and Live!" and remember these safety tips for overhead power lines:
  • Enjoy kites, helium filled balloons, and remote control aircraft away from overhead electric lines to avoid the potential for power outages, fires and serious injuries.
  • Celebrate with helium filled metallic balloons by making sure they are tied to a weight heavy enough to prevent them from floating into power lines.
  • If a balloon or toy is caught in a power line, contact PG&E immediately at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem. Never attempt to retrieve anything that is on or near a power line.
  • When working around the house, look up before lifting ladders and other long-handled tools to avoid accidental contact with electric lines.
  • Never climb or trim trees that are growing into or near a power line. Contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report tree limbs near power lines. The utility will dispatch a tree-trimming crew qualified to work around high-voltage.
  • Never go near a damaged power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assumed downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay away, keep others away and immediately call 911 and PG&E.