Downed Power Line Safety

Fallen electric lines are extremely dangerous.  Report any downed lines to 911 and SDG&E immediately at 1-800-411-7343.  In an incident involving electric power lines, SDG&E offers the following guidelines:

Down or Broken Power Lines

If a person or piece of equipment comes in contact with an energized power line, or if a power line has fallen to the ground:

  • Stay clear of the line and do not touch it.
  • Call 911.  Ask for the police department, fire department rescue service or SDG&E.
  • Always assume that power lines are energized.  If a person has come into contact with a power line, don’t touch the person or any equipment involved. The line may be still energized and could be extremely dangerous.
  • Freeing a person or animal from energized power lines or equipment should only be attempted by a qualified electrical worker.

If a Vehicle is Involved

If a vehicle is involved and you are in it:

  • Sit calmly until help arrives.
  • Warn others not to touch the vehicle and direct them to call 911.
  • If the vehicle is on fire and you must leave it, open the door or window and jump clear without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Do not allow yourself to become a path of electricity from the vehicle to the ground.
  • Be careful not to fall back against the vehicle and to avoid any wires on the ground.

Overhead Electric Lines Safety Tips

When you are working around electric overhead lines, follow these rules:

  • Watch where you are going.
  • Stay clear of the power line and never touch it.
  • Keep all machinery, equipment, and materials such as scaffolding tools, boat masts, fruit-picking poles, antennas, satellite dishes, pool skimmers handles, metal ladders, etc., and people at least 10 feet away from the lines. If it looks like the lines will be in your way, call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343.  Depending on the nature of your job, SDG&E might be able to turn off the electricity, cover the lines, or even move them temporarily while you complete your work.
  • Do not remove anything caught in electric lines, not even an animal. Instead, call SDG&E immediately.

Underground Electric Lines Safety Tips

  • Hazards you don’t see, like underground electric lines, are easy to ignore or forget. Digging, drilling or blasting can damage these underground lines and cause injury, electrocution or fire.  To avoid an accident, call SDG&E’s Underground Alert Service at 1-800-227-2600. SDG&E will send someone to your site for free to show you exactly where our lines are buried.
  • If you see an open SDG&E transformer or other piece of equipment, call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343 and we will investigate.  Do not touch the equipment as this could lead to injury or death.

For more safety information, check out our safety page.