SMECO newsletter

volume 66 - issue 8 - August 2016

Use extra caution in a vehicle accident involving power lines

If you encounter a vehicle collision with utility poles or utility equipment in which you suspect the vehicle is or may become energized, immediately call Emergency Medical Services (911) to report the situation. A SMECO crew will arrive to de-energize the equipment. Do not approach any downed lines or equipment. From a safe distance, instruct the vehicle occupants of the following methods to stay safe:

• When possible, instruct them to stay inside the vehicle. If no fire or immediate threat exists to the vehicle occupants, the best action is to have them remain inside the vehicle until a qualified SMECO employee confirms that the equipment is de-energized.

• If they must leave because of fire or other immediate threat, instruct them to try to drive their vehicle either forward or backward to clear themselves of the electric utility equipment. Once they are at least 30 feet away from all lines or equipment, they may exit the vehicle and receive any medical care.

• If they must leave the vehicle because of fire or other immediate threat and they are unable to move their vehicle, they should—without touching the ground—try to position themselves on a flat surface of the vehicle (top of hood, trunk or bed of the vehicle) that allows them to leap from the vehicle as far as possible. It is important that they try to land with both feet on the ground without stumbling. Once they get their balance, they must shuffle their feet with both feet continually touching the ground until they are at least 30 feet from the vehicle. Once they get 30 feet away, they must remain away from the vehicle and not go back under any circumstances until the vehicle and equipment are deemed de-energized.

Visit for videos that address these life-saving techniques.