LADWP Urges Caution During Upcoming Storm

LOS ANGELES — With a major storm front moving into Los Angeles this week, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) stands ready to respond to rain-related electrical problems that may occur, and reminds Angelenos to use caution around downed power lines, which may be live wires and potentially fatal.

During storms, power poles and lines can be knocked down by tree limbs, palm fronds or other debris and can cause power outages. With the lack of significant rain this season, there may be more dead branches or debris that can potentially fall onto power lines. “Safety is our highest priority,” said David H. Wiggs, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager, Power System. “If you encounter a downed power line, call 911 and stay clear of it,” he said.

If you experience a power outage, call 1-800 DIAL DWP (1-800-342-5397). LADWP crews are on call around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

To the unsuspecting person, power lines look harmless enough. Yet coming in contact with power lines or other electrical equipment can cause serious injuries or even death.

“The message is: don’t go near power lines, whether they are on poles or have fallen on the ground,” Wiggs said. The magnitude of electricity running through these wires can seriously harm or even kill a person who touches or even comes close to a wire. The hazard is the same whether the person touches a wire directly or does so with any object.

LADWP offers the following tips for electrical safety during a storm:

Downed Power Lines

  • Never touch a downed or dangling wire or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed line is still energized.
  • Report any downed power lines immediately by calling the LADWP at 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397). If you or someone else is in danger, call 911.
  • Don’t touch anyone in contact with a power source – you could be killed or seriously injured. Instead, turn off power at the control panel. Then call for help and tell them it’s an electrical injury.
  • If a power line falls on your car, stay in the car and wait for help. If you must get out, make sure you do not touch the metal parts of the car and the ground at the same time. The safest method is to open the door, stand on the door sill and jump free without touching the car.
  • Stay away from metal fences, such as a chain link fence – there may be a power line down and touching the fence somewhere beyond your sight.
  • If there is damage to the connection from the power pole to your house, you should go to the electrical box and turn off the main switch or shut off the fuse switch. Again, always assume electric lines are live.
  • In case of an electrical emergency, stay calm and think before you act. Don’t become a victim while trying to help others.
  • Call 911.

If Your Power Goes Out

Stay calm.

  • Have a flashlight and extra batteries nearby. Don’t use candles in a power outage.
  • Turn off lights but leave one light turned on so you will know when your service is restored.
  • Turn off and unplug appliances and other electrical equipment. Unplug heat-producing items like irons and space heaters. This helps prevent circuit overloading, which could delay restoration of service

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