Statement as issued Tuesday:
FORT WAYNE, Ind., May 1, 2012 – Recent reports of customers approaching downed power lines call for a reminder to the public that doing so carries a significant risk to safety.
Approaching downed power lines is dangerous since downed lines carry an electric current that can lead to injury or death. Under normal conditions, power lines are not on the ground;
however, conditions such as high winds and storms can bring down power lines and other utility wires.
Nothing is more important than public safety. That is why Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) encourages the public to keep the following tips in mind:
• You can't see, smell or hear electricity, making it difficult to determine whether downed power lines are energized. Err on the side of caution: Always presume a fallen wire is energized and dangerous. Keep your distance, and keep others away.
• Power lines are not insulated or coated like power cords for home appliances. Some power lines have a coating of weatherproofing material that might appear to be a form of
insulation. However, it is not an insulating material and does not make the line safe to touch.
• Do not touch anything or anyone the line may be touching. Objects can become energized by coming into contact with a downed power line. Even telephone or cable lines can become energized.
• A downed power line is considered an emergency situation. Call 911 or contact I&M at (800) 311-4634 in Indiana or (800) 311-6424 in Michigan immediately if you see a line