Downed Power Line Safety

Stay away from downed lines 

If you feel a downed line presents clear and imminent danger to you, your property or to others, call 911 first!

Downed power lines are not safe lines. Stay away!

  • Please stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, even if you don’t see a spark or hear it snap. Consider them ENERGIZED and DANGEROUS.
  • Electricity travels! Never touch a power line with any part of your body or with objects. Remember that electricity can move through conductive materials like water, metal, wood, aluminum, string and plastics.
  • Keep away from heavily flooded and debris-laden areas; power lines could be buried underneath.
  • Protect your pets! If you see a downed power line, keep your pets as far away from them as possible.
  • If a power line should fall on your vehicle:
    • Stay inside the vehicle until help arrives, as your car may be energized.
    • Warn others not to touch the vehicle and have them call for help.
    • If you must leave the vehicle, jump as far away as possible with both feet landing on the ground at the same time.  DO NOT touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don't try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911.

If you see it, report it! 1-866-366-4357

Call us at 1-866-366-4357 (1-866-DOM-HELP).  It’s important to remain on the call and speak with a representative to report the downed power line to us.

Be prepared to provide as much information about the location and condition of the line as possible – this will help us secure the line and ensure safety as soon as possible.

We respond to every downed line call.

Did you know that all downed lines are not power lines? If it’s not a power line, we will mark the wire with orange tape and contact the appropriate utility to let them know their line is down.

Many downed power lines mean many repairs, especially after a major storm.

First, we will assess all downed lines - our priority is to make sure the area is safe. Then we will mark the line to identify it - yellow tape if it is electrical wire, orange tape if it belongs to another utility.  As crews are available, they complete final repairs as quickly and safely as possible.

Continue to be safe and stay back at least 30 feet or more from the area until the line is repaired.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I see downed wire?

Stay at least 30’ feet away and make sure your family, pets, and neighbors also avoid the downed wire. Call Dominion right away at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to speak with an agent to report the downed wire. Please be patient if the wait time is longer than usual - it’s very important for Dominion to know a wire is down.

Can I use a branch or other object to move a wire off my driveway or road?

No,  The line might be energized and the object itself could also become energized. Stay back at least 30’ and call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report the wire immediately.

Can I just drive over a wire since my vehicle has rubber tires?

No.  It is dangerous to drive over a downed power line. Rubber tires will not adequately protect you from an energized downed wire. Stay back at least 30’ and call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report the wire immediately.

Why does it take so long for Dominion to come out to address downed wire if it’s so dangerous?

After major storm events, it’s not always possible to respond to each downed wire report despite our best efforts. To ensure the wire has been reported, call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) right away and keep at least 30’ away.

Why did crews come out to investigate the downed wire I reported and leave it without fixing it and getting my lights back on?

Dominion treats every “wire down” call with heightened sensitivity because of the potential for danger. We will respond to every call as soon as we can. In some cases, especially after storms, a Dominion representative will inspect the area and assess danger.  We will mark downed wires to identify those that are part of Dominion’s system and those that belong to another utility. If we can barricade the area safely until crews are available to make final repairs, we may do so in order to respond other critical repairs and calls. 

How can I tell if the wire belongs to Dominion or if it belongs to the cable company?

At first glance, you may be unable to tell. Call Dominion to report the downed wire, and we will send a representative to investigate. Treat all downed wires as though they are dangerous. Once we have inspected the area, we will ensure it is safe and then tag it with yellow or orange tape. Yellow tape identifies the wire as a Dominion wire, and an orange tape identifies it as another utility. We will notify the owner utility of the wire down.

If Dominion determines a downed wire belongs to another utility, what happens next?

Crews will first make sure the wire does not pose an immediate hazard—any downed wire can pose a public threat. The wire will be flagged with orange tape indicating that the wire is not part of Dominion’s network and the owner of the wire has been notified that a wire is down.

If the wire is marked with orange tape so I can tell it belongs to another utility, can I move it?

No.  All downed wire can pose a threat to the public.


What does the colored tape wrapped around a pole or wire mean?

If you see yellow tape, it means Dominion crews checked the wire and confirmed it is in the Dominion network. If you see orange tape, it means Dominion crews checked the wire and confirmed it belongs to another utility. We will notify the proper utility that their wire is down.

Does reporting a downed wire accelerate the pace of restoration in my area?

No. Reporting that a wire is down will ensure that a Dominion representative will come assess the situation and make it safe for the public. Crews will make repairs to restore power as soon as they are able, which may require a return visit at a later time. Because responding to a downed wire is a priority for our crews after a major storm, we may have to pull additional crews working on repairs to respond to reports of a downed wire. Additionally, if crews respond to a report of a wire down and there is no wire to assess, they will return to their originally scheduled work location for the day.

Reliability  What do causes and types of outages, storm preparation and even tree trimming have in common? They all contribute to our service reliability efforts! Whenever you see this icon, we are sharing information with you about our efforts to provide you with safe & reliable service every day of the year.
NYSE : (April 23, 2014) D 71.06 0.19