We Energies employees presenting safety seminar.
Dale Harmeyer, operations supervisor, often assists in safety presentations like today.
“We were presented with the opportunity to provide some training on potential electrical hazards,” said Harmeyer. “Most of the time, first responders get to dangerous situations before we do. We want to help them stay safe so they can keep the community safe.”
Nearly 50 Milwaukee Police personnel and a dozen We Energies employees participated in today’s event.
Electricity safety is not only a great learning reminder for first responders, it’s also important for the public to know.
Overhead power lines can carry more than 500,000 volts. Touching one of the lines can provide a path for electricity to the ground and hurt or kill you. Assume all power lines are energized and dangerous.
If you see a downed power line, stay away
Downed power lines can hurt or kill you, even if they do not spark, hum or "dance." Stay away from anything that is touching the line, such as a tree, fence, vehicle, etc. Call 911 and We Energies, 800-662-4797, to report the line. Do not touch someone being shocked by a downed line — you could be killed.
Watch for downed lines after storms
Downed lines are most common after storms and high winds. If you are outside after a storm, be alert for lines that may be hard to see in streams or puddles.
Shuffle – do not run – from a downed line
When moving away from a downed power line, shuffle with your feet together and on the ground. When a live wire touches the ground, electricity travels through the ground in all directions. Voltage lessens as it travels from the center where the live wire is touching the ground. If you run or take large steps, you could conduct electricity from one leg at one voltage to another leg at another voltage.
Downed lines and vehicles
If your vehicle contacts a power line, stay inside until rescue workers say it is safe to leave. Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. If you MUST leave the car because of fire or other danger, jump away from the vehicle so that you do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together. Shuffle away, keeping your feet together and on the ground.