Arriving on the Scene

Ladder Fire Truck - 20 ft min clearance from electrical linesWhen you arrive at the scene of a fire that involves electric equipment, be sure your dispatcher has notified your FirstEnergy electric company. Work with them in a unified command structure, and follow these precautions:

  • Survey the scene from a safe distance, then approach cautiously.
  • Look for electrical hazards, such as leaning utility poles and downed power lines. Mark any hazards with cones or barrier tape.
  • Consider ALL wires and equipment energized and dangerous, unless you are otherwise notified.
  • Keep all personnel and equipment at least 20 feet away from ALL overhead lines. Lines carrying more than 50,000 volts require greater distances. Confirm line voltages and safety clearances with your FirstEnergy electric company .
  • Consider placement of fully extended aerial equipment. Keep in mind that wind can move lines and equipment.
  • Use a spotter to help you maintain the maximum possible clearance. An equipment operator working alone cannot safely judge the distance from the equipment to overhead power lines.