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What if the power lines are down?

Power lines
  • Never touch a downed or dangling wire no matter how small, or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed wire is still energized with high voltage electricity. Report any downed power lines immediately by calling LADWP at 1-800-DIAL-DWP. If you or someone else is in danger, call 9-1-1.
  • 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, call 1-800-DIAL-DWP to make a report. Again, always assume electric wires 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 9-1-1.
  • 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.

Mylar Balloon Dangers

mylar balloons

Each year, thousands of homes and businesses are impacted by power outages caused by stray Mylar (metallic) and oversized balloons. When Mylar balloons come in contact with power lines, they can cause power lines to burn and fall to the ground—posing a significant threat to public safety. 

LADWP offers the following tips when enjoying metallic balloons:

  • Always attach a weight to metallic balloons.
  • Never release metallic or latex balloons outdoors. They can become tangled in power lines when released or when they fall back to the ground.
  • Keep metallic balloons away from power lines.
  • Never use metallic ribbon with metallic balloons.
  • Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them properly when no longer in use.

Customers should call 1-800-DIAL-DWP to report balloons in power lines.


Electrical Tools or Appliances

Electrical outlet
  • Do not overload an electrical outlet with more power than it is safe to use. Plugging multiple appliances or electrical accessories into a power strip can lead to an electrical overload at the wall outlet.
  • A surge protector may be used to protect sensitive appliances and electrical equipment. Many electrical devices these days have sensitive components that may be damaged during power surges.
  • Do not use electrical devices such as radios near sinks, bathtubs, hot tubs, etc. Electricity and water are not compatible and you may be electrocuted if you are caught between the two. If a plugged-in appliance falls into the water, do not reach into the water to get it. Unplug the appliance first.
  • Electrical equipment like TVs, stereos, etc. need to have ventilation to avoid overheating. Do not place papers or any other flammable items over the cooling vents on this equipment to prevent the failure of the equipment or a chance of fire.

Electrical Shock

  • If someone in your home receives an electrical shock, you must never touch the victim. Ensure all family members know where the electrical panel is and how to isolate the power to your home from the grid. Call medical assistance immediately.
  • Use outlet covers to keep children's fingers out of the outlets and install plug covers so that children cannot push metallic objects into the energized outlet openings.

Electric Heaters

  • Have a licensed repairperson inspect household heating equipment yearly, like electric heat pumps.
  • Ensure portable electric heaters are not placed near combustibles, such as curtains, couches, or bed linens. In addition, be mindful of babies and elderly people so that they do not sustain burns from a heater placed in an unsafe area for them.

What if my power goes out?

It is especially important 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 to 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.