As outdoor work begins, Burlington Hydro partners with Electrical Safety Authority, reminding Burlington homeowners to avoid deadly distractions
Powerline Safety Week in Ontario kicks off on May 17th
BURLINGTON, ON - May 14, 2021 - From pruning those overgrown trees to cleaning out the eavestroughs, spring brings the renewal of outdoor DIY projects. Planning outdoor work can be fun, especially during COVID times, but it can also present potential dangers. May 17th to 23rd is Powerline Safety Week, and Burlington Hydro is partnering with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) in urging homeowners in Burlington to avoid deadly distractions by practicing three critical steps: stop, look, and live.
Like last year, COVID-19 resulted in a large number of Ontarians staying home. More people than usual have the flexibility to pursue outdoor improvement projects, but with greater opportunity comes increased risk. It is as important as ever for people to remain vigilant and exercise caution when working near powerlines.
“Remembering to stay 3 metres away from overhead powerlines is really important. Whether you’re doing some landscaping, taking down the Christmas lights, or breaking ground on a new deck, everyone has a part to play,” says Lisa Williamson, Director, Health and Safety at Burlington Hydro. “One single distraction – no matter how momentary – could cause a life-threatening injury or fatality.”
“Even if you don’t come into direct contact with a powerline, you could still receive a shock. Electricity can jump from lines to nearby objects,” warns Dr. Joel Moody, ESA’s Chief Public Safety Officer. “That’s why everyone should stay safe and aware around powerlines, and why we’re reminding people to stop, look and live.”
Stop, Look, Live: Powerline Safety Tips for Households
- 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 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 or towers. 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 and must be organized on your own.
- 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 immediately and Burlington Hydro at 1-877-310-4937.
- Talk to your kids about powerline safety. Help children find safe places to play, away from utility poles, powerlines and substations. 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.