LADWP Urges Caution Around Downed Power LinesLOS ANGELES – As high winds are expected to continue throughout the next few days in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) urged customers to take extra precautions if they encounter a downed power line or a power outage.
LADWP reported that high winds knocked down power lines over the weekend and similar incidents could continue today. “The most important thing for people to do is to not touch the power lines or come into contact with them in any way,” said Robert Rozanski, acting general manager.
In addition, LADWP cautioned that brush fires are burning in the vicinity of electric facilities in the Santa Clarita Valley. Power crews are patrolling the areas and on alert in case of fire coming into contact with electrical equipment. LADWP also asked customers to conserve power to prevent circuits from overloading in case of power outages related to fires, high winds and warm weather.
“We are experiencing some extreme conditions that could disrupt the electrical system, especially in outlying areas where we have infrastructure transporting power to Los Angeles,” Rozanski said. “We ask that customers help out today by reducing their power usage where possible.”
Meanwhile, less than 3,500 customers were without power as if 1 p.m. today. Areas currently impacted include Sylmar, North Hills, Chatsworth, Tujunga, and the Harbor Gateway area.
LADWP electrical maintenance crews have been working around-the-clock to restore power outages scattered throughout the City of Los Angeles. On Sunday, there were as many as 11,000 customers in communities such as San Pedro, Sunland, Sylmar, Northridge, West Hills, North Hills, Chatsworth, Winnetka, Canoga Park, Porter Ranch and Tarzana without power at one point during the wind storm.
Coming in contact with power lines or other electrical equipment can cause serious injuries or even death. The lines often carry thousands of volts of electricity. That magnitude of electricity 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.
The LADWP recommends the following electric safety tips:
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. 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 someone is shocked or not breathing, apply cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Then cover the victim with a blanket, keep their head low and get medical attention.
When the Power Goes Out
- It is especially import to stay calm in the event of a power outage.
- Always keep a flashlight and extra batteries nearby. Never use candles in a power outage or other emergency.
- Turn off and unplug any appliances or other electrical equipment. Unplug heat-producing items such as irons or portable heaters.
- Leave one light turned on so you will know when your power returns. It also helps prevent circuit overloading, which could delay restoration of service.
To report a power outage, call the LADWP 24-hour hotline at 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397).
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The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility, provides reliable, low-cost water and power services to Los Angeles residents and businesses in an environmentally responsible manner. LADWP services about 1.4 million electric customers and 680,000 water customers in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit http://www.ladwp.com/.
Contact: LADWP Public Affairs 213-367-1361