july 29, 2016
the truth about electricity may shock you
aps encourages safety during summer
storms, dispels common “myths” about electricity
PHOENIX – During an Arizona summer, monsoon storms can bring
high winds and microbursts that have historically delivered enough force to
knock power lines and poles to the ground. Last week during a storm in
New Jersey, a woman unfortunately was killed when she attempted to get out of
her vehicle after power lines fell onto her car. Safety is the number one
priority, and APS wants to ensure customers are aware of important safety
practices during monsoon season.
To help our customers and others stay safe through summer storm season,
we offer the top eight misconceptions surrounding downed power line safety:
tires protect against electrical shock… FALSE: Electricity has one goal -
find the least-resistant path to ground. If a line falls on your car, the
electricity from the line can travel through the body of the car, through the
tires and to the ground. If you exit the vehicle, you could get electrocuted if
you’re touching the car and the ground at the same time.
metal is a conductor, it is safer outside the car…FALSE: In the case of a
downed line, the safest place is inside your car. If you have a cell phone,
call 911 and wait patiently for help to arrive. If you must get out of the car
because of a life-threatening situation, jump away from the vehicle using the
baseboard of the vehicle without touching both the vehicle and the ground at
the same time. Move away using short, shuffle steps without lifting your feet
off the ground until you are at least 100 feet away from the vehicle.
wires always make sparks…FALSE: Always assume a wire is live. Many downed
wires do not spark, make noise, or show any indication of electricity. Just
because a wire is down does not mean that electricity is shut off.
always knows when a line is down…FALSE: If you see a downed line,
immediately call 911 and then APS’s call center at (602) 371-7171.
power line can only cause harm if touched…FALSE: Anything touching a power
line could become energized and you could be harmed if you touch what has
become energized. Additionally, electricity can spread through the ground if
conditions, like moisture, allow it. Just because you are not touching a line
doesn’t mean you are safe from the electricity in the line. Even though you
can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it can’t injure you.
power lines are insulated…FALSE: Unlike extension cords or wires that
connect many household appliances, overhead power lines do not have insulation.
Touching one, directly or indirectly, is dangerous and can cause serious
injury, including death.
is an insulator…FALSE: Although wood is typically thought of as an
insulator, it can conduct electricity, especially if it is wet or moist. Using
wood to touch or move a downed power line is dangerous and absolutely should
not be attempted.
shoes are good insulation…FALSE: Although rubber is commonly used as an
insulator, most “rubber” accessories such as gloves or shoes are not rated for
direct contact with electricity. It is not safe to touch any energized material
(power line or anything touching a power line) just because you are wearing
rubber gloves or rubber shoes.
APS, Arizona’s largest and
longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11
of the state’s 15 counties. Headquartered in Phoenix, APS is the
principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.