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What to Do If an Electrical Accident Happens

If you saw someone getting shocked, would you know what to do? It's important to know the rules of electric safety so you don't get hurt yourself.

  • DO NOT TOUCH the victim because you might get shocked too.
  • Find a grown-up right away.
  • Ask the grown-up to turn off the power at service panel.
  • Call 911 and be sure to tell the person who answers that someone has been involved in an electrical accident.
  • If the accident happened near utility equipment like a power line or substation, keep others away and ask the grown-up to call electric company or 911 right away.

Even if the person seems OK after getting a mild shock, it's important to always go the hospital or see a doctor.

Electricity burns from the inside out, so some injuries might not be easy to see. The heart and other internal organs can be affected several hours after the accident.


Car accidents

If you're in a car or bus accident involving a power line, your first impulse might be to jump out of the vehicle. But the safest thing to do is stay in your vehicle until help arrives.

Why? Because the metal parts of the car might be energized. If you touch the outside of the car and the ground at the same time, you could get shocked. The fire department or utility company will come quickly to move the power line safely away.

If you absolutely must leave the vehicle, hop out with your feet together, making sure to land on both feet. Be very careful not to touch the car and the ground at the same time. Continue carefully hopping with your feet together in short hops until you're as far away as possible.


Fun stuff to print:

Do an Energy Safety Survey [PDF]

Alliant Energy Kids activity book [PDF]