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What to do in an electrical emergency

Downed Power Lines

Stay away from all downed power lines and wires - even if there are no sparks.  Don't touch anything - or anyone - that is touching one.  Get help right away.

If you are inside the vehicle, wait inside for help.  If you must get out, jump clear without touching the ground and the vehicle at the same time.  Shuffle, don't run away.  If you are a witness, stay clear and call for help. 

[source: Puget Sound Energy. For more information on downed power lines.]

Electrical Fire

In case of an electrical fire, unplug the faulty appliance or turn off the power, if possible.  Never throw water on an electrical fire.  If it is small, put it out with a multipurpose fire extinguisher, class "c" electric fire extinguisher or baking soda.


  • Avoid trees, poles and other tall objects.  Go to low ground and crouch down if caught outdoors.
  • Stay out of the water.  Never go swimming or boating during a storm.  If you are in the water, get out as quickly as possible.