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Electrical Emergencies

Rescue and First Aid

In an emergency call 911 immediately.

For rescue and First Aid on Electrical Safety please refer to this handbook:

www.pshsa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/EELPWAEN0413-Electrical-Safety-Handbook_20131.pdf

Vehicle safety

Coming across a downed powerline or driving near one can be scary. The safest place to be is in your car. Your vehicle’s tires are made of rubber and are a grounding agent for electrical currents.

If you are in a vehicle that is in contact with a downed powerline, the safest thing to do is stay in your car until emergency crews arrive to assist you. Stay calm and, if you have a cell phone, call 911 from inside your car.

If there is a secondary emergency, such as a fire, and you cannot safely stay in your vehicle, follow these steps:

  1. Remove loose fitting clothing to ensure that no part of you gets hooked or stuck on your car.
  2. Open the vehicle door all the way. Ensure that you use the handle and that you do not touch any other part of the door.
  3. Get ready to jump by standing at the door, and bringing your elbows and hands close to your body, jump out of your vehicle. Do your best to land as far as possible from your vehicle, with your feet together and without stumbling. You must never be in contact with both your vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  4. Shuffle-walk until you have reached a safe area at least 10 meters (33 feet) from the downed powerline or electricity source. As you shuffle, keep your feet touching one another at all times. Different parts of the ground could be energized at different voltages. If your feet are each in different voltage areas, electricity could run from one area to the other through you. This is why it is important to shuffle and always keep your feet together.
  5. Once you are in a safe area at least 10 meters (33 feet) from the power source, wait for emergency crews. 

Vehicle in Contact with Powerline

If you are outside of the vehicle:

  1. Stay well away from downed powerlines, from vehicles that are in contact with electrical powerlines, and from any other objects that may be electrically charged. Stay at least 10 metres (33 feet) away at all times.
  2. Instruct those around you to stay back from powerlines and all potentially charged objects.
  3. If your vehicle does come in contact with a powerline, hot electrical currents can affect the performance of your tires. Do not drive your car until the tires have cooled for at least one hour and you’ve inspected them for damage. If the tires are damaged, do not drive the car. Have a licensed mechanic do a full inspection of your vehicle’s tires, hydraulic and computer systems.

Resources: