blog home Dangerous Property Conditions How Downed Power Lines Can Harm

By Renee Nordstrand on October 31, 2018

upward view of electric powerline pole

Living in Southern California means we don’t have to worry about hurricanes or blizzards, but earthquakes, mudslides, and strong winds still cause havoc. One of the biggest risks after these events is downed power lines. You should always assume a downed power line is live, and if you can see it, do not approach it or let anyone else go near it. Report downed power lines immediately to the City of Santa Barbara’s utility services, because it is their responsibility to remove the dangerous obstruction and keep residents safe.

NordstrandBlack PC is currently representing a Santa Barbara man who was seriously injured by a power line that was knocked down by the branch of an unhealthy tree in Santa Barbara. Our client suffered burns on most of his body as well as psychological trauma, and we are fighting to get him the treatment and money he needs to recover.

If You See a Downed Power Line…

As soon as you see a downed power line, call the utility company to report the location. If it is safe for you to do so, stay outside the area to warn others from going near it. Be especially careful if a power line is brought down during a storm that includes rain, as wet surfaces can conduct electricity and spread the danger zone farther.

If you have to walk around the area at all, stay as far as possible from the power line and take small, shuffling steps without picking up your feet. Lifting your legs or running will increase the chance of an electric current running through you when your foot returns to the ground, causing serious injury.

If you are in a car and come across a downed power line, remain in your vehicle and call emergency services. Honk your horn; if a power line is touching your car, roll down your window and yell for help, but warn others away from the danger. As long as you are in your car, you should be safe. If you see a fire and need to escape, jump from your car and make sure you are not touching it in any way when your feet hit the ground. Take slow, shuffling steps away from the vehicle and the downed power line.

NordstrandBlack PC hopes that these tips will help you remain safe in the event of a downed power line, but there is no guarantee of safety when live wires are involved—and no guarantee that you will be able to see a downed power line at all, especially at night.

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a downed power line, NordstrandBlack PC knows exactly what to do. Call (805) 962-2022 to talk to a Santa Barbara premises liability lawyer about getting compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, and other expenses.