Safety in the Community - ERTH Power
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Safety in the Community2023-08-01T20:04:09+00:00

Electrical Safety in the Community

Downed Power Lines

Power lines and equipment, such as poles, may fall or be broken by storms, ice, equipment failure, or vehicle accidents. If you see a downed power line, call 9-1-1 immediately and report it to the local utility company. If the downed power line is located within the ERTH Power service territory, call our 24-hour toll-free emergency line at 1-877-850-3128.

  • Keep a safe distance – Stay at least 10 meters (33 feet) away from a downed power line and any objects that the line(s) are in contact with. That’s about the length of a full-sized school bus.

  • Assume the power line is energized – Always assume that a downed power line is energized, and remember that anything touching the downed line, such as trees, vehicles, or fences, could also be live. This includes the ground around the power line.

Power Lines on a Vehicle

If you are in a vehicle and it comes in contact with a downed power line, the safest thing you can do is stay in your car until emergency crews arrive to assist you.

If it is not safe to stay in the vehicle due to a fire or other hazard, follow these steps to exit:

  • 1
    Remove loose fitted clothing to ensure that nothing catches or gets stuck on the car.
  • 2
    Open the vehicle door using the handle and do not touch any other part of the door.
  • 3
    Get ready to jump out of your vehicle by standing inside your car near the door. Bring your elbows and hands close to your body.
  • 4
    Jump as far as possible out of your vehicle with your feet together, and without stumbling. Both feet must leave the vehicle together and must land on the ground at the same time. You must never touch your vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • 5
    Shuffle-walk with both feet touching the ground at all times until you have reached a safe area at least 10 meters (33 feet) away from the downed power line or electricity source. Different parts of the ground could be energized at different voltages. If your feet are each in different voltage areas, electricity could run from one area to the other through you. This is why it is important to shuffle and always keep your feet together.
  • 6
    Once you have reached a safe distance of at least 10 meters (33 feet), wait for emergency response personnel to arrive.

Overhead Power Line Safety

Look up, look out! Overhead power lines mounted at the top of utility poles are not insulated and pose a serious danger to both people and property. The high-voltage electricity that runs through these lines can cause severe or fatal injury if proper safety precautions are not taken.

  • Keep yourself and objects at least 3 to 6 metres away from overhead power lines.
  • Never touch or attempt to move anything that is in contact with a power line, including trees, ladders, tools, or any other equipment.
  • Always carry ladders horizontally if you are working outdoors near a power line.
  • If you need to work near power lines, contact the local utility company to request a temporary disconnect.
  • Make sure that children are aware of the dangers of power lines.

Electrical Distribution Equipment

Electrical distribution equipment in the community can pose a serious danger if safety precautions are not taken.

  • Never touch or tamper with electrical distribution equipment and respect safety signage

  • Keep children and pets away from transformer boxes

  • Keep electrical distribution equipment and meters clear of vegetation, snow and clutter

Electrical Safety for Construction Workers

  • Before you begin excavation or construction work, contact Ontario One Call.
  • Clearly identify and mark all power lines on the job site and keep people and equipment at least 3 to 6 metres away to prevent an incident.
  • Always have a signal person to provide an extra set of eyes for equipment operators.
  • Ensure dump trucks lower their bucket immediately after dropping off a load.

Trees on Power Lines

Tree contact with overhead power lines can cause fires, equipment damage or power outages. If you spot a tree on or within 3 meters of a power line, stay at least 10 meters (33 feet) back and contact ERTH Power to report it or arrange a temporary planned outage to remove the tree safely.

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