First responders also need power line safety awareness training
Electrical safety for first responders
Power line hazards can hide in everyday emergencies. Police, fire and ambulance personnel are first on the scene, often putting themselves in harm's way to help others; however, when power lines are involved, the dangers faced by first responders aren't always as obvious. If you're a first responder, these safety rules involving power lines and electrical equipment wil help you to stay safe on the scene of an accident
Always assume power lines are energized
You can't tell if a downed power line or piece of equipment is energized just by looking at it. Avoid danger by treating all power lines, underground transformers and anything in contact with them as energized.
When arriving on scene, park at least 10 metres away and stay put
When you arrive on scene, ensure you keep a safe distance from downed power lines or electrical equipment and park your vehicle at least 10 metres (33 feet) away from the downed line or damaged transformer. 10 metres is the minimum safety distance from power lines. Stay in the safe zone until EPCOR confirms it is safe to approach the scene.
Don't become a victim yourself
You won't be able to help anyone if you're injured or electrocuted.
- Never touch anything or anyone in contact with a downed high voltage power line, including injured or trapped victims, vehicles, trees, puddles or bodies of water.
- Do not put water on power lines, power meters or any other power equipment involved in fire.
- Guardrails, metal or barbed wire fences are excellent conductors of electricity, so always proceed with caution when working around them.
Stop traffic and keep people out of the 10-metre safe zone
Whether on foot or in a vehicle, coming into contact with a power line (or the energized area surrounding it) puts you at risk of being electrocuted. Pedestrians and motorists might not see a downed line or think it's safe to drive over one, so always be sure to redirect traffic away from the scene and tell others to stay away.
Always call EPCOR
Once you've secured the area, have your Dispatch call EPCOR to de-energize the power line or transformer. Your dispatch has a direct number to our Power Emergencies line and a crew with proper training and equipment will arrive as soon as possible and will confirm when it's safe to approach the scene.
If there is a fire or other imminent danger
If a vehicle is on fire, or another imminent danger exists where someone must leave their vehicle immediately.
Stay back 10 metres and instruct them on how to exit safely following these steps.