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Downed power lines illustration

May 11, 2022

How to Respond to Downed Power Lines

Here are safety guidelines to follow if you encounter downed power lines in the Presidio.


The Presidio Trust’s Department of Public Safety has some safety guidelines to follow if you encounter downed power lines in the Presidio.

Downed power lines are dangerous. Always assume a downed line is live and never touch it. Instead, follow these safety protocols:

  • Never touch a downed line with your hand or an object, such as a stick or pole.
  • Never touch anything or anyone who is in contact with a downed power line. If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person because you could become the next victim. Call 911 for help.
  • Keep kids and pets away from fallen electric lines.
  • Do not drive over a fallen power line.
  • Call the Work Order Service Center at (415) 561-4270 immediately to report a fallen power line during normal business hours. For after hours service, contact (415) 677-2267.

If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line while you’re inside the vehicle:

  • Remain calm. Stay inside your vehicle if it is not on fire because the ground around it may be energized.
  • Call 911 for help.
  • Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around your vehicle can be injured.
  • Wait until the fire department, police, or PG&E workers tell you it’s safe to get out of your car before exiting the vehicle.

If your vehicle is in contact with a fallen power line and a fire starts while you’re inside the car, follow these guidelines when exiting your vehicle:

  • Remain calm.
  • Remove loose items of clothing.
  • Keep your hands at your sides and jump clear of the vehicle, making sure you do not touch the vehicle when your feet hit the ground.
  • Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.

If you have questions about what to do if you come across downed powerlines – or any general safety concerns – email or call (415) 561-4001.