Protect yourself and others from shock. Adhering to some simple best practices can minimize the risk of electric shock.
- Always identify power lines and electrical equipment upon arrival at an incident scene.
- The first thing to do is to survey the area for overhead power lines, downed lines, and equipment such as transformers. Especially during or after a storm, look for lines down in trees or on fences. Proper electrical-safety procedures should figure into any operational planning.
- Assume all lines are energized as well as all objects in contact with power lines. Even if lines appear to be insulated, the coating you see is not designed to protect you from shock.
- Additionally, areas around power lines and electrical equipment or objects in contact with them (such as trees, fences, or vehicles) should also be treated as energized. This includes the ground. Approach with caution.
- If power lines or electrical equipment are involved in an incident, have your dispatcher contact NIPSCO. Calling is always the right thing to do whether you identify electrical infrastructure or are just unsure. They want you and the public to be safe and will respond quickly. Their personnel will switch off the power and tell you when the area is safe and de-energized.
- As simple as it sounds, provide the best possible directions to the location. Intersections, landmarks, and specific buildings will help.
- Secure the area. When dealing with electricity, your priority is to protect yourself and the public. Utility personnel will tell you when it is safe to approach.