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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid Electrical Hazards After a Storm

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Downed electrical wires lie on a road. Downed power lines pose a silent, deadly threat after a storm. Take extreme caution during post-storm cleanup or evacuation.

The winds and rains of hurricanes and other powerful storms can do vast damage to property: flooding, tearing off roofs, breaking windows, tossing cars. Once the storm has passed, though, the danger remains, because of another kind of storm damage: downed power lines. Take this hazard seriously, because an energized power line is a silent threat that can take your life!

If you see downed power lines, stay away and never try to move them. Even if the power is out, don’t assume it’s safe to touch a downed line, because power lines can become re-energized at any time. Always assume that the line is live and that electrocution dangers exist.

Because power poles may be shared by utility, cable, and telephone companies, downed electrical lines can energize these other lines as well. In fact, when everything around the downed lines is wet from the storm, even normally non-conductive materials can become a path for electricity, including:

  • metal security fences
  • metal buildings, poles and mail boxes
  • standing water
  • trees, branches and pieces of wood

Cleanup Risks

After a strong windstorm, your yard and neighborhood will likely be covered with tree branches and litter. Power lines often get tangled in branches, posing a serious hazard for anyone trimming branches with a chainsaw.

Piles of debris can also be hidden dangers. A lawn chair, piece of metal siding or ladder could be touching a fence or tree limb that is energized.

Be careful and take a good look around your surroundings before attempting any storm cleanup. And have someone with you who can call for help if you come in contact with energized lines.

Driving After a Storm

If you need to drive during or immediately after a storm (to evacuate, for example), be extremely cautious. Watch for downed power lines, tree limbs and obstructions in the road. Never drive over a downed line with your car!

If your car does make contact with a downed wire, the vehicle could become energized. Stay in your car and roll your window down to shout for help or use a cell phone to dial 911.

But if your car has made contact with an energized wire and catches on fire, you must get out of the car. Take extreme caution: the way you exit the car will determine whether you live to tell about it. Your car’s rubber tires insulate it from the ground, but if you step out while touching part of the vehicle, you will complete the circuit and be electrocuted.

  • Remove loose clothing items. Open the car’s door and stand on the floorboard.
  • Don’t hang on to any part of the car as you prepare to jump, including the door handle.
  • Jump away from the vehicle as far as possible, keeping both feet together. Shuffle away from the car without picking up your feet.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

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