Skip Navigation

Downed Power Lines

Keep an eye out for downed power lines!

  • Never touch any fallen wire. Consider every wire on the ground to be energized and dangerous. 
  • Call your Duke Energy service representative for help. 
  • Stay clear of overhead power lines when moving or storing irrigation pipes and grain augers. Metals and wet objects conduct electricity. 
  • Never climb utility poles, towers or substation fences. If you have lost something over a substation fence, call Duke Energy and let a company representative retrieve it for you. 
  • If you are involved in a traffic accident that results in power lines touching your car, do not get out of your car unless it is on fire. It is a myth that the tires protect you – the metal of your car conducts electricity around you, as if you are a bird sitting on a power line. If you must get out of your car because of fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Then shuffle away from the car, keeping both feet close together, to minimize the path of electric current and avoid electric shock. 
  • If you are at the scene of such an accident, do not approach a car that is touching power lines. Remain a safe distance away, keep the victim in the vehicle calm and wait for emergency personnel to handle the situation. 
  • Never drive over downed power lines. Even if not energized, they can become entangled in your vehicle. 
  • Never touch downed power lines or use any object to move power lines, including brooms, boards, limbs or plastic materials. Although wood is non-conductive, if even slightly wet it will conduct electricity, causing electric shock or electrocution. Power lines can also slide down such objects when lifted. 
  • To report the downed power lines, Contact Us or local law enforcement. Only qualified electric utility workers should attempt to move downed power lines. 
  • Never touch a person who is in contact with power lines or other objects that are touching power lines.  You cannot help them by being electrocuted yourself. 
  • Do not attempt to cut or remove a tree that is, or could become, entangled with power lines. Contact Duke Energy for assistance and wait for a professional tree removal crew to do the job. 
  • Do not allow children to play in trees close to power lines, or to swing on guy wires. If there are downed lines in your neighborhood after severe weather, keep your children inside. 
  • Teach your children about electrical safety as early as possible. Reinforce it as they grow. 
  • While it is helpful to tell Duke Energy about downed lines, do not go looking for damage. This is unnecessary and dangerous. We will find and repair the damage as quickly as possible. 
  • Look up! Always examine your surroundings for power line locations before doing any outside work. In North Carolina, the High Voltage Safety Act requires that a 10-foot clearance be maintained between equipment and power lines at all times. Any person who intends to work within the prohibited area must notify Duke Energy at least 48 hours before starting the work. 
  • Anyone planning to dig, excavate, bore, tunnel, blast or otherwise disturb the earth where buried utilities are located must notify Duke Energy at least 48 hours before starting the work. 
  • Do not plant vegetation to grow up or near utility poles or guy wires. 
  • Do not throw objects up into power lines, which can cause short circuits that could result in injuries. This includes items you might not consider conductive, such as ropes and strings.

TRUSTe online privacy certification
Report an Environmental Concern | Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Mobile Site

© Copyright 2015 Duke Energy. All Rights reserved.