Toledo Edison provides safety tips during live demonstration

Mike Ressler simulates an energized power line during the demonstration (WNWO).

HOLLAND, Ohio (WNWO) -- As winter weather begins to roll in, snow and ice can weigh on power lines and create some deadly conditions.

In a live safety demonstration at the Toledo Edison building in Holland, officials shared life saving tips when it comes to dealing with downed power lines.

"Consider all downed wires energized, and stay away and if you see something make a phone call, call 911 and we'll come out and investigate the situation," said Mark Jones, Toledo Edison president.

It may seem like a common message, but officials say many of those lines carry 7,620 volts that will stop you right in your tracks.

Mike Ressler conducts dozens of safety demonstrations for First Energy throughout the year.

He says just like water, that voltage is searching for a path to the ground.

Especially when the line doesn't make it all the way down.

"The first mistake is someone is going to tell you there's a downed wire, is it really down, or is it just low? So if you're thinking downed wire, you're thinking it's on the ground, but it might be two [feet] above the ground," said Ressler.

If you find yourself near a downed power line, be cautious of what other objects that line could have come in contact with.

"You have to assume that when a wire is down on a fence, or on another wire or some other structure, a car in a car-pole accident, it's energized, you have to assume that until we know differently," said Jones.

Officials say touching a fence, or car or even walking on the ground near the energized line can be just as dangerous as touching the line itself.

Ressler also encourges everyone to call in for each individual outage, because there could be multiple in the area that can help them detect a major hazard.


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