Powerline Safety at Home
The Real Danger of Powerlines
Coming into contact with overhead powerlines can mean instant and lethal damage. Respect the power by using common sense and taking care when working around powerlines.
8 Essential Powerline Safety Tips
- LOCATE POWERLINES.
Before you start any yard work or outdoor home maintenance, locate powerlines. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.
- STAY BACK 3 METRES.
You don’t have to touch a powerline to get a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you or your tools if you get too close. Have someone watch to make sure you stay at least three metres (10 feet) back from powerlines.
- CARRY LADDERS SIDEWAYS.
Never carry ladders upright as they may come in contact or close to powerlines. Check for overhead powerlines before standing a ladder up.
- STAY AWAY FROM DANGEROUS AREAS.
Keep away from electrical transmission and distribution lines, and never climb utility poles. If a toy ends up inside a transformer station, call the Local Distribution Company. Don’t try to retrieve it yourself.
- CALL OR CLICK BEFORE YOU DIG.
Powerlines are sometimes buried underground. Before you start construction on a deck, fence or other landscaping project, contact Ontario One Call. Ask to locate all utility-owned underground infrastructure. This includes natural gas, communications and power lines, and water and wastewater pipes. Private underground powerlines such as supply to a pool or separate garage is not located by the utility.
- PLANT TREES AWAY FROM OVERHEAD POWERLINES.
Avoid the problem now, before trees grow up into the powerlines. If your trees have already grown into the powerlines, contact your local utility or a utility arborist. Do not prune trees around powerlines yourself. More tree pruning and landscaping tips here.
- WATCH FOR DOWNED POWERLINES.
If you see one, stay back about the length of a school bus (10 metres or 33 feet). Call 9-1-1 and the Local Distribution Company immediately.
- TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT POWERLINE SAFETY.
Help children find safe places to play, away from utility poles and powerlines. Remind children never to climb trees near powerlines. Make sure they look closely, since leaves and branches can hide the wires. The green boxes on lawns or in parks are also off-limits.
Having a pool installed?
Pool designers and installers need to consider a few factors and follow rules set out by the Ontario Electrical Safey Code.
Powerlines are unforgiving and lethal. A simple task of removing leaves from an eavestrough can be a life-changing event. This video shows the power of powerlines, and the devastating results of coming into contact with them. Lucky the Squirrel learns the hard way how dangerous overhead power lines can be.
Maintaining the Electrical Equipment on Your Property
You are legally responsible for maintaining the electrical equipment on your property to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. This includes poles and overhead wires.