Downed powerlines can be deadly. Residents are warned to stay at least
11 metres/35 feet back from downed powerlines until utility workers
have disconnected power and made the area safe.
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario's Electrical Safety
Authority (ESA) is warning the public that severe and even fatal
injuries can occur by touching or even being in close proximity to
downed powerlines and electrical wires. The flow of electricity through
the human body can burn, severely injure or kill.
Extreme weather has brought down powerlines in communities across
Southern and Eastern Ontario. The widespread nature of the damage,
along with weather conditions that will continue to affect the power
system may lead to longer than normal response times for utility crews.
"It is extremely important that people stay well back and do not
approach downed powerlines," said Scott Saint, Chief Public Safety
Officer, ESA. "Always assume a downed powerline is live, even if it
isn't sparking - the power could come back on at any time. That leaves
no room for mistakes - never put yourself in electricity's path."
ESA reminds people to call 9-1-1 and their local utility if they see a
downed powerline, and to follow these storm safety tips:
In the community:
Downed powerlines may be live. Stay at least 35 feet or 11 meters away
as electricity can travel through water and the ground around
powerlines. Immediately report any downed wires to the local hydro
company and call 911. Remain well back.
Refrain from clearing snow, ice or storm debris until the power is
disconnected or powerlines are repaired.
If a powerline lands on your vehicle, remain in the vehicle until
emergency responders arrive. Exiting a vehicle that has been contacted
by a live powerline is extremely dangerous. Similarly, do not attempt
to assist someone in a vehicle touched by powerlines.
Around your home:
Heavy accumulation of snow and ice can bring trees and branches down
onto powerlines causing blackouts and electrically charged hazards.
Inspect the trees surrounding your property and call your local hydro
company to trim branches away from overhead powerlines.
Stay warm, cozy and safe. Do your research before buying portable
heaters and electric blankets and ensure they bear a recognized certification mark.
Melting snow and ice can contribute to flooding. Beware if water gets
into your home as electrical systems may be affected. If you suspect
damage to your electrical system, contact a licensed electrical
contractor to make the repair.
When flood water rises above electrical outlets or power cords or is
near the service panel, it could be energized. Contact your local hydro
company to disconnect the power immediately.
Portable generators, when used correctly, can provide security and
comfort during power outages. Only use in dry, well ventilated areas
and never connect portable generators to electrical appliances or
wiring components that have been affected by flood water.
For more information on electrical safety when stormy weather hits,
About the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is an administrative authority
acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario with specific
responsibilities under the Electricity Act and the Safety and Consumer
Statutes Administration Act. As part of its mandate, ESA is
responsible for administering regulation in four key areas: the Ontario
Electrical Safety Code; licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master
Electricians; electrical distribution safety; and electrical product
SOURCE: Electrical Safety Authority
For further information:
Electrical Safety Authority
905-712-7819 or Media.ESA@electricalsafety.on.ca