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Electrocution and Live Wires

Beware of dangers after a disaster, such as downed power lines and debris created by strong winds or rain. If outside after a storm, be alert for power lines that may be hard to see in streams or puddles. Always remember that water conducts electricity, and any wire in a puddle should be assumed live and dangerous.

If you see a downed power line, move a safe distance away and call authorities. It is always best to assume all downed lines are energized. Downed power lines can hurt or even kill you. Sometimes electrified wires will spark, hum, or "dance" , but not always, so don't assume the wire is dead if it is inactive. Always maintain a safe distance from anything that is touching the power line, like a tree, or fence.

If you find yourself in a car near downed power lines, wait in the car, until qualified electrical workers turn off the power and tells you it is safe to leave the vehicle. When inside the vehicle, you are not a part of electricity's path to the ground, but you should still remain cautious. Be careful and do not to touch metal parts of the vehicle, such as radio knobs or door handles.

If people come near the car to help you, warn them to stay far away. If you must leave the car because of a fire, or other danger, jump away from the vehicle so that you don't touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away from the car, keeping your feet together and on the ground.

If someone is being electrocuted do not touch them as you too will become an electrical conductor. Do not try to help someone who is still in contact with a source of electricity, by making direct contact you will become part of the path the electricity is taking. Instead, disconnect the power source at the nearest isolation point and call emergency personnel.

Electrical shock may cause burns inside the body that are not immediately apparent, so be sure any victims who experience an electrical shock are taken to a doctor.

About the Author
Francesca Black has worked in the emergency services field for more than 10 years. More information available at Prepare for Emergency http://www.prepare-for-emergency.com

 
 
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