Gusty winds are great for flying kites, windsurfing and hoisting flags, but they’re not all fun and games. High winds can bring down power lines, cause property damage and pose life-threatening dangers to people and pets. There could also be shock or fire hazards due to damaged electrical service equipment.
Cleaning up after the Storm
Follow these tips when doing storm clean-up:
- Stay back! Downed powerlines may be live and are extremely dangerous. Electricity can travel through water and the ground around powerlines. Stay back about the length of a school bus (10 metres).
- Call 9-1-1 and the local electricity distribution company to report any downed lines. Remain well back.
- Wait until the power is off or the powerlines repaired before starting yard cleanup. Downed powerlines could be hidden beneath storm debris and tree branches.
Look for Damage to Electrical Service
- As homeowner, you typically own electrical equipment from where the wires attach to the house. This includes the electrical service mast and the wires in it.
- Check to see if the mast is broken, pulled away from the wall, or detached from the meter base. Also, look for sagging wires.
- Even if you have power, there may be sagging electrical wires or electrical pipes/masts pulled away from your house, which could be a shock or fire hazard. Get them repaired.
- If you see or suspect damage, contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor. Ask the Licensed Electrical Contractor to check it and make necessary repairs.
Hire someone who can legally do electrical work in Ontario.
Getting Repairs Done
Only Licensed Electrical Contractors can do residential electrical repairs. They will file a notification with ESA, which generates an official record of the work. Hiring anyone other than a Licensed Electrical Contractor will delay having your power restored.
Using Portable Generators
Portable generators can provide security and comfort during power outages. However, they can also cause electrical shock and fire hazards if they are not properly connected or used incorrectly.